May 2017

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31 May 2017

Posthumous wedding for police officer killed in Champs-Élysées attack

FRANCE: On 30 May 2017, Etienne Cardiles married his late partner Xavier Jugelé, the police officer killed by a gunman on Champs-Élysées, in a ceremony attended by Paris mayor Hidalgo and former president Hollande. It is believed to be the first posthumous same-sex wedding to take place in France, the origins of which can be traced back to 1803. The practice became particularly popular during World War I, when it allowed women to wed slain soldiers, thus legitimizing any children conceived beforehand and entitling them to a pension.
Senate votes to extend domestic violence protections for same-sex couples

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 30 May 2017, the Senate agreed 25-13 to extend the state's domestic violence protections to same-sex couples after initially rejecting the proposal last week (23 May). On 01 June 2107, the Bill was sent to the Governor for executive approval.

30 May 2017

German Parliament passes the Sperm Donor Registry Act

GERMANY: On 18 May 2017, the Parliament passed the ''Sperm Donor Registry Act'', which will allow children born by physician assisted artificial insemination to access their donors' information from 2018 onwards. The law will establish a central registry of sperm donors with identifying information including their name, address, nationality, and place of birth. Children conceived by sperm donation will have the right to request this information once they reach 16 years of age. Parents may also claim this information on behalf of their children if they are less than 16. Registry data will be stored at the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) in Cologne for 110 years, after which it will be deleted. Donors will be required to sign an informed consent form explaining the new requirements. An amendment to the German Civil Code (BGB) has also clarified that donors are not considered legal fathers. Therefore, they are protected against claims for child support or inheritance from any children resulting from donated sperm.
U.S. appeals court sides with transgender student in bathroom case

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 30 May 2017, a three-judge panel of the US Coiurt of Apeals for the Seventh Circuit unanimously affirmed a lower court's preliminary ruling that F2M transgender boy Ashton Whitaker, 17, must be allowed to use the boys' bathrooms at the George Nelson Tremper High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
• Opinion: Ashton Whitaker, et al. v. Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 Board of Education, et al. No. 16-3522 PDF 303.96kb 30 MAY 17

29 May 2017

Popular Chinese lesbian dating app removed from internet

CHINA: On 29 May 2017, it was reported that Rela, the popular Chinese dating app for lesbians, had been shut down along with its website and main social media account. Rela, set up in 2012, has around 5 million registered users, a cached version of its entry on Apple's iTunes site shows.

26 May 2017

Loophole in Rules on Transgender Troops Denies 2 Their Commissions

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 26 May 2017, it was reported that West Point cadet Riley Dosh came out as a transgender woman after the military lifted its ban on transgender troops. Now she and an Air Force Academy cadet in Colorado Springs have been denied their commissions because Pentagon officials say the transgender policy, released in October, covers only those on active duty ­ not new recruits or new officer candidates.

25 May 2017

Mom who sued trans daughter for starting gender confirmation without her permission loses lawsuit

UNITED STATES, Minnesota: On 25 May 2017, US District Court Judge Paul A Magnuson dismissed the complaint of Anmarie Calgaro who sued her 17-year-old M2F transgender child, referred to only as E.J.K., to prevent her medical treatment for gender transition.
• Memorandum and Order: Calgaro v. St. Louis County et al No. 16-cv-3919 (PAM/LIB) PDF 87.70kb 25 MAY 17

24 May 2017

Belgium - New Gender Recognition Law with obstacles

BELGIUM: On 24 May 2017, the Parliament reportedly approved with 117 votes and 6 abstentions, a reform Bill to amend the gender recognition law doing away with the current situation that is, sterilisation and a mental health diagnosis will no longer be requirements for legal gender recognition however there are outstanding unaddressed issues. There is a three-month waiting period, Minors from age 12 will be able to bring their name in accordance with their gender identity. From 16 years a minor can apply for a change of gender marker, requiring the support of parents (legal guardians) and a personal statement. A youth psychiatrist's statement has to confirm that the decision has been taken freely and without any outside pressure.
South Korean military court sentences captain for gay sex

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: On 18 April 2017, it was reported that a military court had sentenced an army captain to a six-month prison term suspended for a year, for having consensual sex in private with a fellow male soldier. The military penal code, makes homosexual activity punishable by up to two years in prison.
Taiwan's top court rules in favour of same-sex marriage

TAIWAN: On 24 May 2017, a panel of 14 justices in the Constitutional Court ruled that it is lawful for same-sex couples to marry, finding the Civil Code, stipulating that marriage is between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional. The government has two years to implement the ruling.
• Judgment (in Chinese): Interpretation of the Court of Justice No. 748 PDF 125.08kb 24 MAY 17
• Judgment (in English): Interpretation of the Court of Justice No. 748 HTML 25 MAY 17

22 May 2017

Texas Senate approves 'religious refusal' adoption measure

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 22 May 2017, Senate approved 21-10 House Bill 3859, (the ''Freedom to Serve Children Act'') that allows publicly funded foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay prospective parents because of religious objections. On 26 May 2017, the Bill was sent to the Governor.

21 May 2017

Nevada bans therapists from trying to talk kids out of being gay

UNITED STATES, Nevada: On 17 May 2017, Governor Brian Sandoval (R) reportedly signed legislation making it unlawful for licensed therapists in Nevada to attempt to convince children that identify as being gay to be heterosexual, a practice commonly referred to as ''conversion therapy''. The Act is effective immediately for regulatory and preparatory purposes and on 01 January 2018 for all other purposes.
• Bill: SB 201 PDF 151.23kb 09 MAY 17

19 May 2017

Portugal will ban surgeries on intersex babies

PORTUGAL: On 19 May 2017, it was reported that Portugal had announced it will ban surgeries on intersex babies. There is evidence that these surgeries can cause long-term side effects, including scarring, torn tissue, loss of natural hormones, a lack of sexual sensitivity and even sterilization.
Breakthrough for Trans Civil Rights Protections

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 18 May 2017, US District Judge Joseph F Leeson in the US District Court ruled that transgender woman Kate Lynn Blatt's employment discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can move forward, finding for the first time that transgender people are not categorically barred from seeking relief from discrimination under the ADA. For those transgender people who experience gender dysphoria, the Court found there is no justification for their exclusion from the ADA.
• Opinion: Blatt v. Cabela's Retail 5:14-cv-04822-JLS PDF 308.08kb 18 MAY 17

18 May 2017

Oregon Enacts Law to Ease Transgender Changes in Birth Records

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 18 May 2017, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2673A into law enabling transgender residents wishing to revise their birth certificates to match their identity presentation to do so by merely filling out a form, rather than having to post a public notice and petition for a court order. The simplified process goes into effect in January 2018.
Gay pride T-shirt case appealed to Kentucky Supreme Court

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 15 May 2017, the Lexington Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission unanimously voted to file for a discretionary review of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals Decision dated May 12, 2017 in which the Court of Appeals found in favor of the Appellee, Hands on Originals, Inc., ruling it did not discriminate when refusing in 2012 to create shirts promoting the Lexington Pride Festival.
• Press Release: Lexington Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission PDF 122.79kb 16 MAY 17 (Accessed 23 MAY 17)

17 May 2017

Student writes 127-page report in defence of ‘fabulous’ gay marriage

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 17 May 2017, it was reported that a 17-year-old student at a Catholic school in Missouri had written a 127-page academic paper titled ''Gay Marriage is Fabulous'', arguing that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality.
• Paper: Gay Marriage is Fabulous Word 412kb (date unknown)
Indonesian Sharia court sentences gay couple to 85 lashes

INDONESIA, Aceh: On 17 May 2017, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, an Islamic court in the province of Aceh reportedly sentenced two men under sharia law to be publicly lashed 85 times each for homosexuality, in spite of international appeals to spare the couple. The men were reportedly filmed by vigilantes. ID (AC) 17 MAY
Gay couples cannot adopt children from Kyrgyzstan by law

KYRGYZSTAN: On 17 May 2017, it was reported that the Head of the Family and Child Protection Department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development Janyl Jumabayeva told a press conference in Bishkek that the legislation of Kyrgyzstan does not allow same-sex couples to adopt children from Kyrgyzstan.

15 May 2017

Latin Kings member sentenced for killing transgender girlfriend after friend found out her gender identity

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 15 May 2017, in the first case prosecuted under the law for the killing of someone based on gender identity, Chief United States District Judge Judge Louis Guirola Jr. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, sentenced 29-year-old Joshua Brandon Vallum on a plea of guilty to 49 years in prison for causing the death of his 17-year-old transgender girlfriend Mercedes Williamson in 2015 after a friend found out her gender identity.
• Plea Agreement: United States v. Joshua Brandon Vallum No. 1:16-cr-00114-LG-RHW PDF 2.11MB 02 NOV 16
Walmart settles for $7.5m after denying spousal benefits to gay couples

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 16 May 2017, US District Court Judge William G Young issued a final order approving a $7.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit against Walmart that found the retail giant violated gender-discrimination laws for years when it denied spousal benefits to same-sex spouses.
• Final Order: Jacqueline Cote v Wal-mart Stores, Inc No. 15 Civ. 12945 (WGY) PDF 348.47 16 MAY 17
• Memorandum: Jacqueline Cote v Wal-mart Stores, Inc No. 15 Civ. 12945 (WGY) PDF 97.38 27 APR 17

12 May 2017

Landmark transgender bill passes Oregon Legislature

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 12 April 2017, it was reported that the legislature passed House Bill 2673A creating a more efficient and private process for transgender Oregonians to update their information, including name and gender markers on birth certificates. The Bill has been sent to the Governor.
Christian printer doesn’t have to make pro-gay shirts, appeals court rules

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 12 May 2017, the Court of Appeals held 2-1 that Hands On Originals, a Christian company that prints messages on T-shirts, pens, mugs and other accessories, did not discriminate when refusing in 2012 to create shirts promoting the Lexington Pride Festival.
• Opinion: Lexington Fayette Urban County et al. v. Hands on Originals Inc. No. 2015-CA-00745-MR PDF 179.52kb 12 MAY 17
LGBT attacks not hate crimes, West Virginia court rules

UNITED STATES, West Virginia: On 09 May 2017, Chief Justice Allen H Loughry in the Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that the state's hate crime protections do not extend to anti-LGBTQ attacks finding that the word ''sex'' in the Virginia Code § 61-6-21(b) was plain and unambiguous and could not be expanded to include ''sexual orientation''.
• Opinion: State of West Virginia v. Steward Butler No. 16-0543 PDF 118.37kb 09 MAY 17

11 May 2017

House OKs including 'dating partners' among those covered by domestic abuse laws

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 11 May 2017, the House voted 59-30 to approve House Bill 223 that would include ''dating partners'' under the legal umbrella for domestic violence. The Bill is now before the Senate.
• Bill: House Bill 223 PDF 90.88kb 12 MAY 17
Qld throws out past gay convictions

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 11 May 2017, the Queensland government introduced the Criminal Law (Historical Homosexual Convictions Expungement) Bill 2017 to throw out past criminal convictions for homosexuality, with the premier delivering an official apology.
• Bill: Criminal Law (Historical Homosexual Convictions Expungement) Bill 2017 PDF 408.45kb 11 MAY 17
Oregon moves toward allowing third gender option on drivers' licenses

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 11 April 2017, it was reported that Oregonians may soon be able to identify themselves as neither male nor female as Oregon works toward becoming the first US state to allow a third gender option on its drivers' licenses and state identification cards.

10 May 2017

High Court rejects appeal of man who infected lover with HIV

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 10 May 2017, the High Court of Australia dismissed the appeal of Michael Aubrey against his conviction of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm by engaging in unprotected anal sexual intercourse when he knew he was HIV positive.
• Order: Aubrey v. The Queen [2017] HCA 18 PDF 290.79kb 10 MAY 17
Romania government votes to change definition of family in order to ban same-sex marriage

ROMANIA: On 10 May 2017, the government reportedly voted 232-22 with 13 abstentions to adopt a citizens initiative that would aim to change the definition of family in the Constitution. Before becoming law, the proposal to revise the constitution must be adopted by the Senate with a majority of at least two thirds and a referendum must then also be held within 30 days, with a minimum of almost five million people voting to change the law.
Missouri Legislature passes tougher discrimination rules

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 08 May 2017, the House passed 98-30 Senate Bill No. 43 that raises the standard for proving workplace discrimination. It will soon move to the governor's desk where it seems likely to get a signature. The new standards would require employees to prove their protected class was ''the motivating factor'' for their firing or discipline.
UK Supreme Court to consider gay marriage cake judgment

UNITED KINGDOM, Northern Ireland: On 10 May 2017, it was reported that in October the UK Supreme Court would hear the appeal of Ashers Baking Company against the ruling finding that it had directly discriminated against Gareth Lee on grounds of sexual orientation by refusing to make a cake supporting same sex marriage.
Knox County judge grants woman rights of 'husband' in Tennessee's first same-sex divorce

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 10 May 2017, 4th Circuit Court Judge Greg McMillan granted a woman the legal rights of a husband, approving the divorce of same-sex couple Sabrina Witt and Erica Witt that includes designation of Erica Witt as the legal ''father'' of the couple's daughter, conceived through artificial insemination. The Court accepted the advice of Sara Sedgwick, senior counsel for the health care division of the office, to view the words ''wife'' and ''husband'' in a ''gender-neutral'' fashion. To do otherwise, she wrote, would be to violate constitutional law, particularly in light of the same-sex marriage decision.

09 May 2017

Varadkar publishes Social Welfare Bill 2017

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 09 May 2017 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar announced that the Government had approved the publication of the General Scheme of the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2017. Among other matters, the Bill will seek to ensure that same sex spouses and civil partners of members of occupational pension schemes will be able to obtain, in certain circumstances, a spouse's pension as any other married couples do.
• Bill: General Scheme of the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2017 PDF 456.73kb MAY 17

08 May 2017

Austrian court rules Facebook must delete 'hate postings'

AUSTRIA: On 05 May 2017, the appeals court in Vienna reportedly ruled that Facebook must remove postings deemed as hate speech against Greens leader Eva Glawischnig as well as any verbatim repostings, and said merely blocking them in Austria without deleting them for users abroad was not sufficient. The ruling has international ramifications as the court ruled the postings must be deleted across the platform and not just in Austria.
Marriage: Court Rules In Favour Of Gay Couple

BERMUDA: On 05 May 2017, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche being granted a marriage licence, stating: ''The common law definition of marriage, that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, and its reflection in the Marriage Act section 24 and the MCA section 15 (c) are inconsistent with the provisions of section 2 (2) (a) (ii) as read with section 5 of the H(uman) R(ights) A(ct) as they constitute deliberate different treatment on the basis of sexual orientation.
• Judgment: Winston Godwin and Greg Deroche v. The Registrar General et al. 2016 No. 259 PDF 531.14kb 05 MAY 17

04 May 2017

French court rejects neutral gender on official documents

FRANCE: On 04 April 2017, the Cour de Cassation ruled against granting 66-year old psychotherapist Gaëtan Schmitt, an intersex person born with a genital malformation, the right to be recognized by the state as being of a ''neutral'' sex. Schmitt, was registered at birth as a man but has argued he perceives his sexual identity as being neither female nor male. The Court said that the distinction between male and female was ''necessary to the social and legal organization, of which it is a cornerstone'', and that the ''recognition of a neutral gender'' would have ''deep repercussions'' on French law and would entail ''numerous legislative changes''.
• Judgment (in French): M.D. v. Orleans Court of Appeal No Q1617189 PDF 04 MAY 17

03 May 2017

New Alabama Law OKs Barring Gay Adoption

UNITED STATES, Alabama: On 03 May 2017, Governor Kay Ivey signed House Bill 24, the Alabama Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households because of their religious beliefs.
• HB24: Alabama Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act PDF 37.30kb 25 APR 17

02 May 2017

Same-sex couple can seek damages from Kentucky clerk: U.S. appeals court

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 02 May 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit revived a damages lawsuit against Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who in 2015 refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it conflicted with her Christian beliefs, ruling the lower court judge erred in finding that damages claims by David Ermold and David Moore became moot, after a new state law last July excused clerks like Davis, from Rowan County, from having to sign marriage license forms.
• Opinion: David Ermold and David Moore v. Kim Davis No. 16-6412 PDF 79.86kb 02 MAY 17

01 May 2017

Former male prostitute who had sex with a 15-year-old now wants career in law

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 28 April 2017, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal of KMB against the refusal of the Legal Practitioners Admission Board to declare that his 05 November 2008 guilty plea to two counts of unlawful sodomy and to two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 would not adversely affect his admission as a legal practitioner. The Court ordered the decision of the Legal Practitioners Admissions Board be set aside as, the matters contained in the applicant's application to the Board do not, without more, adversely affect an assessment as to whether the appellant is a fit and proper person to be admitted to the legal profession under the Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld).
• Orders: KMB v. Legal Practitioners Admissions Board (Queensland) [2017] QCA 76 PDF 165.00kb 28 APR 17
Supreme Court Keeps California’s ‘Gay Conversion’ Therapy Ban In Place

UNITED STATES, California: On 01 May 2017, the US Supreme Court denied Christian Minister Donald Welch's challenge to the 2012 Californian law banning ''gay conversion'' therapy aimed at turning youths under age 18 away from homosexuality.
• Certiorari Denied: 16-845 Welch, Donald, et al. v. Brown, Gov. of CA, et al. Order List: 581 U.S. PDF 65.36kb 01 MAY 17 at page 2

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