December 2017

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12 December 2017

Puerto Rico Senate approves religious freedom bill

PUERTO RICO: On 10 December 2017, the Senate reportedly passed the ''Law for the Protection of Religious Liberty in Puerto Rico'' that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in the US commonwealth. The House of Representatives approved the Bill in May
• Legislation (in Spanish): Ley para la Protección de la Libertad Religiosa de Puerto Rico PDF 241.85kb 08 MAY 17
U.S. high court turns away dispute over gay worker protections

UNITED STATES, Georgia: On 11 December 2017, the US Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari (a review) in the Jameka K Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital case, meaning the 10 March ruling of the 11th Circuit that workplace discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation does not violate Title VII of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 stands.
• Order List: 583 U.S.: Certiorari Denied No. 17-370 PDF (at page 5) 11 DEC 17
US military must accept transgender recruits by Jan. 1, judge rules

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 11 December 2017, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in the District of Columbia denied a motion for a stay of a preliminary injunction requiring the President Trump and the Secretary of Defence to comply by 01 January 2018, allowing transgender individuals to enter the military.
• Order: Jane Doe 1, et al. v. Donald J Trump, et al. No. 1:17-cv-01597-CKK PDF 51.29kb 11 DEC 17

11 December 2017

Third court rules against Trump’s transgender military ban

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 11 December 2017, US District Judge Marsha J Pechman in Seattle ruled President Trump's ban on transgender people in the armed forces is unconstitutional finding that the plaintiffs had established a likelihood of success on the merits of their equal protection, substantive due process, and First Amendment claims and granted a preliminary injunction to protect the status quo.
• Order: Ryan Karnoski, et al. v. Donald J Trump, et al. No. C17-1297-MJP PDF 203.99kb 11 DEC 17

09 December 2017

House: MPs approve domestic partnerships

BERMUDA: On 08 December, the House of Assembly passed 24-10 the Domestic Partnership Act 2017. The Bill will provide same-sex couples with a raft of legal rights but prevent any further same-sex marriages. The legislation would not have retroactive affect on same-sex marriages after the Supreme Court ruling in the Godwin and DeRoche case against the Registrar-General.

08 December 2017

Arkansas resumes issuing birth certificates after judge halted program

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 08 December 2017, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ordered injunctive relief in the Nathaniel Smith, et al. v. Marisa N Pavan and Terrah D Pavan, et al. case ordering the Department of Health to cease issuing all birth certificates unless and until such time as the the Department are able to issue birth certificates to all same sex spouses and opposite sex spouses in accordance with the mandate from the United States Supreme Court and the Arkansas Supreme Court. Within hours, the governor's office ordered the Health Department to comply with a US Supreme Court ruling and list the spouse of the woman who gives birth as a parent, regardless of gender.
• Injunction: Nathaniel Smith, et al. v. Marisa N Pavan and Terrah D Pavan, et al. No. 60CV-15-3153 PDF 32.73kb. 08 DEC 17
Supreme Court Of Canada Rules Text Messages Are Private

CANADA, Federal: On 08 December 2017, in a potentially significant 5-2 ruling, the Supreme Court set aside the convictions of a man whose messages were found by police on the mobile phone of an alleged accomplice. The ruling suggests that Canadians can expect the texts they send to remain private ­ at least in some cases ­ even after the messages reach their destination.
Judgment: R. v. Marakah 2017 SCC 59 PDF 565.60kb 08 DEC 17
Same-sex marriage is now legal in Australia

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 08 December 2017, the Governor-General assented to the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017. The government has set Saturday, December 9 as the date the new laws will take effect and the Attorney-General’s office has confirmed this means weddings can take place from January 9. This is because couples need to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage one month before their ceremonies.

07 December 2017

Australian Parliament finally passes equal marriage legislation

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 07 December 2017, the lower House of Representatives finally passed the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017. The upper house Senate has already passed the Bill that will come into force the day the Act receives Royal Assent. The definition of ''marriage'' will be amended to read ''2 people'', replacing the 2004 Howard Government amendment that inserted the definition: ''marriage'' means the union of one man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

05 December 2017

Austrian Supreme Court rules in favour of same-sex marriage

AUSTRIA: On 04 December 2017, the Constitutional Court ruled that the current marriage law violated non-discrimination rules. The ruling also allows heterosexual couples to enter a civil partnership. The repeal will come into force at the end on 31 December 2018. As a result, same-sex couples in Austria will be able to legally marry from 2019.
• Decision (in German): Constitutionality of the General Civil Code and the Federal Law on Registered Partnership (Registered Partnership Act PDF 372.33kb 04 DEC 17

04 December 2017

U.S. Supreme Court declines to consider Houston fight over same-sex marriage benefits

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 04 December 2017, the US Supreme Court declined to review the Texas Supreme Court decision that in dismissing a lower court ruling that said spouses of gay and lesbian public employees are entitled to government-subsidized marriage benefits, ruled that the legalization of same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits.
• Order List: 583 U.S.: Certiorari Denied: Turner, Mayor, et al.v. Pidgeon, Jack, et al. No. 17-424 PDF 132.55kb 04 DEC 19

01 December 2017

UNITED STATES, Vermont: On 01 December 2017, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that an individual who is not biologically related to a child, has not legally adopted the child, and is not married to the child's legal parent may be the child's legal parent.
• Opinion: Sarah Sinnott v. Jennifer Peck 2015-426 PDF 222.91kb 01 DEC 17

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