July 2017

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31 July 2017

MSDC Wins District Court Victory

UNITED STATES, District of Columbia: On 27 July 2017, US District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to dramatically expand their search, review and release procedures which could result in the release of thousands of additional documents relating to President Eisenhower's 1953 ''sexual perversion order'' known as Executive Order 10450. The Eisenhower order identified ''sexual perversion'' as sufficient cause to investigate and terminate actual and suspected homosexual employees of the federal government, leading to thousands of terminations.
• Memorandum Opinion: Mattachine Society of Washington v. US Department of Justice No. 1:16-cv-00773 PDF 5.26MB 27 JUL 17
Missouri appeals court rules against transgender student

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 24 July 2017, the Western Division of the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled, in a 2-1 decision, that a biological girl identified as R.M.A., transitioning to be a boy must continue to use the Blue Springs R-IV School locker room for girls.
• Opinion: R.M.A v. Blue Springs R-IV School & Anor. No. WD80005 PDF 18 JUL 17

29 July 2017

South Carolina court delays same-sex domestic violence ruling

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 28 July 2017, Supreme Court stayed its ruling that people in same-sex relationships should be entitled to the same legal protection against domestic violence as heterosexual couples, after the unmarried were inadvertently excluded.
• Order: Jane Doe, v, State of south Carolina No. 2015-001726 HTML 28 JUL 17
Kent OKs anti-bias law

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 26 July 2017, the Kent City Council reportedly approved an ordinance banning discrimination in any ''place of public accommodation'' in the city, such as lodging, restaurants, barbershops, theaters or stores. Private clubs or churches are exempt.

28 July 2017

Lesbian mom asks Christian judge to recuse himself from divorce case

UNITED STATES, Alabama: On 28 July 2017, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals denied the petition of lesbian mother Tiara Brooke Lycans, in her divorce case against husband Zachary Thomas Lycans, seeking to have trial Judge Shaunathan C Bell recuse himself from the case because of his stance against homosexuality.
• Opinion: Ex parte Tiara Brookes Lycans v. Zachary Brookes PDF 58.43kb 28 JUL 17

27 July 2017

A Landmark Lawsuit About An Intersex Baby’s Genital Surgery Just Settled For $440,000

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 24 July 2017, the South Carolina Court of Common Please approved the settlement, totalling $440,000 over 16 years, of claims alleged on behalf of the minor M.C. for alleged medical malpractice, incurred medical bills, pain and suffering, psychological damages, and permanent impairment as a result of sex reassignment surgery carried out whilst an infant in care in 2006, with the defendants denial of liability.
• Order Approving Settlement on Behalf of a Minor: Pamela and John Mark Crawford v. Medical University of South Carolina & et al. No. 13-CP-40-02877 PDF 282.84kb 24 JUL 17

26 July 2017

Court: Violence law unfair to gay South Carolina couples

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 26 July 2017, Acting Justice Costa Pleicones for the majority in the Supreme Court found portion of the state's domestic violence law unconstitutional, ruling that people in same-sex relationships in South Carolina should get the same legal protections against domestic violence as heterosexual couples.
• Declaratory Judgment: Jane Doe, v, State of south Carolina No. 2015-001726 PDF 309.20kb 26 JUL 17
Trump to ban transgender U.S. military personnel, reversing Obama

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 26 July 2017, in a surprise announcement on Twitter, President Donald Trump said '' ... that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military'', reversing former President Barack Obama's policy and citing '' ... tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail''. The administration has not determined whether transgender individuals already serving in the military would be immediately thrown out.

[Ed: It could be argued that under Article 12, Section 8 of the Constitution, it is the Congress that has the power to ''raise and support Armies'' and that therefore only Congress can decide who is eligible or ineligible for military service.]

25 July 2017

Constitutional Court recognises two men as child's parents

CZECHOSLOVAKIA: On 25 July 2017, it was reported that Judge Katerina Simackova in the Constitutional Court ruled a Czechoslovakian man and a Danish man who married under Californian law and are the parents of a now four-year-old child from a surrogate mother according to Californian law, have the right to be recognised as parents in the Czech Republic. The men live in California but travel to Czechoslovakia occasionally and wanted the American verdict to be also recognised in the country, mostly for reasons concerning medical treatment.

24 July 2017

Dublin bakery’s refusal of anti-gay marriage cake 'not discrimination'

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 10 July 2017, Adjudication Officer Ian Barrett in the Workplace Relations Commission ruled that a County Dublin bakery did not discriminate against a man when refusing to bake a €700 cake with the anti-gay marriage message ''BY THE GRACE OF THE GOOD LORD, I (name redacted), that in my honest opinion - 'GAY MARRIAGE' IS A PERVERSION OF EQUALITY and the 34th Amendment to the Irish Constitution should be REPEALED''.
• Decision/Recommendation: Anonymised Parties ADJ-00004390 HTML 10 JUL 17
Appeal court grants refugee status to bisexual Ugandan woman

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: On 23 July 2017, Presiding Judge Yoon Seong-won in the 7th Administrative Panel of Seoul High Court reportedly overturned an Administrative Court ruling and ordered the Seoul office of the Korean Immigration Service to reverse the Ministry of Justice decision not to give a bisexual Ugandan, identified only as ''A'', status as a refugee. The Court found that ''A'' had met the two main hurdles for being acknowledged as a refugee, which are ''having a credible testimony'' and ''having adequate grounds for fearing persecution''.
Chris Christie signs two pro-transgender bills into law

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 21 July 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed two different bills advancing transgender equality into law. Bill S3067, directs the state Commissioner of Education to develop guidelines for ensuring ''a supportive and nondiscriminatory environment for transgender students'' in New Jersey schools. Bill A4568, prohibits state-licensed hospitals, health providers, health insurers, and Medicaid from refusing service to an individual because they are transgender.

21 July 2017

'Natural meaning' lawsuit dismissed, but plaintiffs claim victory for gay rights

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 21 July 2017, Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, dismissed a lawsuit challenging a new Tennessee law defining terms by their 'natural and ordinary meaning', whilst declaring that Tennessee officials must ''accord same-sex parents the same right as opposite-sex parents to be named on a child's birth certificate''. The judge found that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate their rights and the rights of the yet to be born children had been violated.
Equality law is passed at last

UNITED KINGDOM, Isle of Man: On 21 July 2017, the President of Tynwald Steve Rodan announced that the Equality Act had received Royal Assent (on 18 July 2017). The Equality Act aims to combat discrimination in the workplace and in the provision of goods and services, on various grounds including race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, and gender reassignment. A new provision was also made for those who were 'asexual', recognising those who have no sexual attraction to people of either sex.
Allentown Council passes ban on gay conversion therapy for minors

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 19 July 2017, the Allentown City Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning gay conversion therapy for minors within city limits.
Maryland Reduces Evidentiary Requirements to Exempt Primary Residence of Domestic Partners from Inheritance Tax

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On May 4, 2017, Maryland's Governor signed into law H.B. No. 1104, effective 01 July 2017, reducing the evidentiary documentation required from domestic partners to evidence the qualification of their joint primary residence for the Maryland inheritance tax exemption.
Germany's first same-sex marriages expected in October

GERMANY: On 21 July 2017, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced that he had signed into law a measure allowing same-sex marriage in Germany, meaning the first official weddings could take place in October.
Kentucky told to pay attorney fees in same-sex marriage case

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 21 July 2017, Judge David L Bunning in the US District Court awarded attorney fees and costs amounting to $224,703.08 to the plaintiffs April Miller, et al., who were refused marriage licenses by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, holding the State of Kentucky liable.
• Memorandum Opinion and Order: April Miller, et al. v. Kim Davis 0:15-cv-00044-DLB PDF 170.27kb 21 JUL 17

18 July 2017

Court gives government 2 months to reassess gay adoption policy

ISRAEL: On 18June 2017, the High Court of Justice gave the government two months to reconsider its opposition to allowing same-sex couples to adopt in the country. Same-sex couples can be approved for adoption under Israeli law, but in practice only three such couples have adopted children in the past nine years. Many same-sex couples adopt babies from other countries.
Marriage annulled after husband's sex change

SINGAPORE: On 21 July 2017, the Registry of Marriage reportedly voided a couple's 2015 marriage after the husband underwent a sex change and updated his national identity card to read ''female'', making their partnership a same-sex union that contravened the city-state's laws. When the unidentified couple tried to buy a government-built apartment, they had to inform the authorities.

16 July 2017

Nevada high court upholds joint custody in case with 2 dads

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 22 June 2017, the Nevada Supreme Court awarded paternity rights and joint custody to 53-year-old Robert Boynes who in 2012, with his then-boyfriend Ken Nguyen, adopted a son from Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada that did not permit joint adoptions by same-sex couples. Nguyen's name was the only name listed on the birth certificate. The ruling marks the first time in state history that the high court applied the adoption statute in a case involving parenting rights of same-sex couples.
• Opinion: Ken Nguyen v. Robert Boynes No. 69166 PDF 178.97kb 22 JUN 17

14 July 2017

Washington florist seeks OK from Supreme Court to refuse service to gays

UNITED STATES, Washington: On 14 July 2017, Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, filed a petition for certiorari in the US Supreme Court asserting the state Supreme Court 16 February ruling finding her refusal to provide services for the same-sex wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed broke the state's anti-discrimination law, violates her freedom of speech and religion.
• Petition: Arlene's Flowers Inc., et al. v. State of Washington PDF 259.10kb 14 JUL 17

13 July 2017

Ghanaian refugee deported from Belgium for not being 'gay enough'

BELGIUM: On 13 July 2017, it was reported that a gay Ghanian man named Festus was forced back onto a plane to Ghana Currently in Ghana and there are concerns surrounding his safety. Currently, there is a three-year sentence for those caught in homosexual acts.
Congress votes against ban on U.S. military funding of 'sex change' surgeries

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 13 July 2017, the House of Representatives voted 209 to 214 to defeat the amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) denying the Pentagon funds for ''sex change'' surgeries.
Constitutional Court overturns ban on gay men donating blood - again

GEORGIA: On 13 July 2017, the Constitutional Court reportedly overturned a ban on donation of blood by men who have had sex with other men. The case was brought by LGBT rights activists Gocha Gabodze and Levan Berianidze. The ban on donating blood for 'a man who has had a sexual relationship with another man', was introduced by the Minister of Health on 05 December 2000 following a preceding Constitutional Court ruling that the Minister's decree prohibiting ''homosexual'' men from donating blood was unconstitutional.

12 July 2017

Court denies Egyptian refugee status for homosexuality

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: On 12 July 2017, the Supreme Court reportedly overturned the Seoul High Court's ruling granting a 26-year-old Egyptian man refugee status on the ground that he would be persecuted in his home country for being homosexual. The Court said ''There is not enough evidence to acknowledge that his fear is well-grounded that he will be persecuted by the Egyptian government'', returning the case to the lower court.
Gay man wins Supreme Court case on equal pension rights

UNITED KINGDOM: On 12 July 2017, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that same-sex couples are entitled to the same pension rights as heterosexual couples. The Court said that if former cavalry officer John Walker, 66, dies, his husband is entitled to a spouse's pension, provided they remain married.
• Judgment: Walker v. Innospec Limited and Others [2017] UKSC 47 PDF 274.74kb 12 JUL 17
Malta same-sex marriage bill receives final approval

MALTA: On 12 July 2017, the parliament approved the Marriage Equality Bill in a 66-1 vote, extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. The marriage bill is expected to take effect later this month.

11 July 2017

Transgender inmate will get treatments

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 08 July 2017, Judge Joseph T Healey in the US District Court denied an emergency motion to stay the Court's 07 July 2017 Order that Lackawanna County Prison M2F transgender inmate Sparkles Wilson (born born Steven Fritz) be administered hormone treatment.
• Temporary Restraining Order: Sparkles Wilson a/k/a Steven Fritz v. Lackawanna County, et al. No. 3:17-CV-1191 PDF 142.69kb 08 JUL 17

07 July 2017

Chechnya Reportedly Resumes Arresting Gay Men

RUSSIA, Chechnya: On 07 July 2017, it was reported that officials from the Russian territory have reportedly resumed arresting men suspected of being gay.
Judicial Council rejects reconsideration of gay bishop ruling

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 07 July 2017, it was reported that the United Methodist Judicial Council was unanimous in rejecting a motion by the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops asking the denomination's top court to reconsider its JCD 1341 ruling in the case of a gay bishop Karen Oliveto. The Judicial Council decision found that an openly homosexual and partnered bishop may be charged with disobedience to church law. (See Canon Law report 29 April 2017 for Decision).
Presbyterian Church (USA) votes down marriage equality

UNITED STATES: On 07 July 2017, the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) was reportedly to have voted 308-338 against a marriage equality proposal to change the definition of marriage from a ''man and a woman'' to ''two persons''.
Research Shows LGBTQ Housing Discrimination Lives On, But There's Hope

UNITED STATES: On 29 June 2017, the Urban Institute released their research report ''A Paired-Testing Pilot Study of Housing Discrimination against Same-Sex Couples and Transgender Individuals'' finding that when searching for housing, gay male couples and transgender people are not presented with the same opportunities as straight and cisgender applicants.
• Research Report: A Paired-Testing Pilot Study of Housing Discrimination against Same-Sex Couples and Transgender Individuals PDF 3,69MB JUN 17
Former cadet at military school wins $1.9M verdict

UNITED STATES, California: On 28 June 2017, the jury in the Ricardo J Bustamante v. Army and Navy Academy, et al., case awarded the former cadet Ricardo Bustamante $710,000 in actual damages to be paid by the academy and Munoz, and another $25,000 in punitive damages to be paid by Munoz. In addition, the jury awarded the ex-cadet $1.15 million for pain and suffering, with the academy responsible for 70 percent and Munoz, 30 percent. The panel found that the Army and Navy Academy had been negligent in supervising Juan Munoz, a former employee who the victim said had plied him with alcohol then sexually molested him at the Carlsbad military school.
Same-sex marriage bill clears German upper house

GERMANY: On 07 July 2017, Germany's equal marriage bill has been approved in the Bundesrat, meaning the president can now sign it into law. A vote was not necessary in the upper house of Germany's parliament, the Bundesrat, because no state challenged the draft legislation.

06 July 2017

Same-sex couples and property ownership

UNITED STATES, National: On 06 July 2017, the LGBT Weekly summarised some matters to be considered across the Nation when seeking or closing on a home.

05 July 2017

Lesbian marriage in Bengaluru leaves police in a fix

INDIA, Karnataka: On 03 July 2017, an alleged lesbian wedding was reported to have taken place between a 25-year-old woman and a 21-year-old woman at a temple in Koramangala, Bengaluru (Bangalore). The younger woman's parents filed a missing complaint however, to legally take action or even make an arrest, one of them needs to file a complaint or else it will not adjudicated upon in the court.
French gay couples win key surrogacy battle

FRANCE: On 05 July 2017, the Cour de Cassation refused a request that French authorities automatically recognise the two parents listed on the foreign birth certificate, but ruled that the father's partner could apply to adopt the child, in line with a 2013 law allowing both gay marriages and adoptions.

Judgments (in French):

04 July 2017

This baby is the first to be officially identified as agender

CANADA, British Columbia: On 27 April 2017, British Colombia Services issued what is believed to be the world's first official document (a health card) identifying baby Searyl Atli Doty as agender, carrying the mark "U" under "Sex", meaning undetermined or unassigned. The child was born on 11 November 2016.
Man Fined Thousands For Shouting ''Fuck You, Faggot'' As He Assaulted A Man In A Gay Club

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 30 June 2017, the Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled that Paul Taufaao had engaged in unlawful homosexual vilification as he assaulted David Massa at Sydney's ARQ nightclub early on 15 September 2014. Taufaao allegedly made various statements as he assaulted Massa, ''including the phrases 'Fuck off faggot!' and, 'I am going to kill you faggot!''' The tribunal ordered Taufaao to pay $10,000 compensation.
• Reasons for Decision: Margan v. Taufaao [2017] NSWCATAD 216 HTML 30 JUN 17
Chinese man wins forced gay conversion therapy lawsuit

CHINA: On 26 June 2017, a court in Zhumadian in Henan province reportedly ordered a city psychiatric hospital to publish a public apology in local newspapers and pay 38-year old Mr Yu 5,000 yuan ($735) in compensation. Mr Yu was forcibly admitted to the institution in 2015 by his wife and relatives and diagnosed with ''sexual preference disorder''. He was forced to take medicine and receive injections before finally walking free after 19 days.

02 July 2017

Cross-county same-sex partnership registration to be allowed

TAIWAN: On 03 July 2017, Taiwanese cities and counties that currently offer sex-same partnership registration will also begin to accept applications from other areas, Ministry of the Interior official Chai Lan-ping reportedly said. Keelung was the latest city to allow same-sex partnership registration.

01 July 2017

China causes outrage by banning online content of 'abnormal' homosexual relationships

CHINA: On 01 July 2017, new regulations were reportedly issued by Bejing that will prohibit portrayals of homosexuality, prostitution and drug addiction. The China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA) is targeting what they consider ''abnormal'' sexual activity.
Turkish authorities ban transgender rights march in Istanbul

TURKEY: On 01 July 2017, it was reported that the Istanbul Governor's Office will not allow the eighth Trans Pride March to take place Sunday, citing public order and the safety of participants and tourists. Last week, the governor's office banned the LGBTI pride parade for the third year.

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