GayLawNews™

April 2018

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30 April 2018

Mississippi Youth Court judge denies lesbian couple adoption of new baby ­ and the reason is absurd

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 30 April 2018, Forrest County Youth Court Judge Mike McPhail was reported to have denied court approval of Ashley and LaNisha Davis as adoptive parents of a new foster child, despite the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services having approved them as adoptive parents. The Judge wanted the child to stay in the county. As an active duty military member, LaNisha had plans to move to New Mexico in May.

27 April 2018

Kenya bans lesbian love story film 'Rafiki' set to open at Cannes

KENYA: On 27 April 2018,the Kenya Film Classification Board reportedly announced the film ''Rafiki'' (meaning 'friend') that tells the love story of two women had been banned on the grounds that it promotes lesbianism. ''Rafiki'' was invited to premiere at next month’s Cannes Film festival.

26 April 2018

Texas man found not guilty of murder after using gay panic defense

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 25 April 2018, 69-year-old James Miller was found not guilty of murder after using the gay panic defense (self-defence or provocation) and was instead found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the 2015 death of his neighbour 32-year-old Daniel Spencer. Miller was sentenced to 10 years of probation and, as a condition of probation, he will serve 180 days in jail and pay more than $10,000 in restitution to Spencer's family.
Oklahoma House passes discriminatory SB1140

UNITED STATES, Oklahoma: On 26 April 2018, the House of Representatives passed 63-1 (36 excused, 1 vacant) SB1140, a bill that would allow religious-based adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples, single people and non-Christians. The bill is now on its way to Governor Fallin's desk.

25 April 2018

New Jersey Takes the Lead in Equal Pay Act Legislation

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 24 April 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed the ''Diane B Allen Equal Pay Act'', an historic and sweeping equal pay law making it unlawful for an employer to pay any employees who are members of protected classes that includes sex, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression at a lower compensation than other employees who are not members of a protected class, for ''substantially similar work''.

24 April 2018

Alabama city passes historic LGBTQ anti-discrimination law

UNITED STATES, Alabama: On 23 April 2018, the City of Montevallo reportedly passed a city-wide non-discrimination ordinance protecting residents from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public accommodations, and employment.

23 April 2018

Ruling upholds policy on searches of transgender inmates

UNITED STATES, California: On 20 April 2018, Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer denied a motion filed by the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Association to halt the first law enforcement policy in the nation allowing transgender inmates to choose the sex of the deputy who conducts a jailhouse visual body cavity search, known colloquially as a strip search. The case is ongoing.
Lesbians' son registered in Turin

ITALY: On 23 April 2018, after Mayor Chiara Appendino's pledge to ''force the issue'', the Turin Council reportedly registered baby boy Niccolo Pietro, born to lesbian couple Chiara Foglietta and Micaela Ghisleni after Foglietta underwent anonymous donor artificial insemination in Denmark.

20 April 2018

11th Circuit Turns Down Gay Rights Asylum Appeal

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 19 April 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied the petition for review filed by Cameroon student Che Eric Sama who sought asylum contending he is in danger for speaking out in support of gay rights in the Central African country. The Court upheld the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals that Che Eric Sama did not suffer past persecution by the Cameroonian police and that he lacked a well-founded fear of future persecution.
Opinion: Che Eric Sama v. US Attorney General 17-10711 PDF 97.21kb 19 APR 18

19 April 2018

Lesbian mums can't register baby in Italy

ITALY: On 19 April 2018, it was reported that authorities in Turin refused to register baby boy Niccolo Pietro, born to lesbian couple Chiara Foglietta and Micaela Ghisleni after Foglietta underwent anonymous donor artificial insemination in Denmark.

18 April 2018

Tribunal finds John Christopher Sunol in contempt

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 10 April 2018, the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal found John Christopher Sunol in contempt of the Tribunal in failing to comply with orders in a number of proceedings between the parties. Garry Burns sought referral of the contempt to the Supreme Court. The matter is stood over until 11 May 2018 pending production of further evidentiary material. The orders arose from alleged unlawful homosexual vilification in a YouTube posting by John Sunol stating that Garry Burns was a ''child molesting faggot''.
• Decision: Burns v. Sunol [2018] NSWCATAD 78 HTML 10 APR 18
High Court rejects gay activist's case

AUSTRALIA, Federal: On 18 April 2018, the High Court dismissed an appeal by NSW gay rights activist Garry Burns from seeking to sue former Katter party Queensland Senate candidate Bernard Gaynor over homophobic comments. The High Court found Chapter III of the Constitution would be ''undermined'' if the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Decisions Tribunal was found to have the jurisdiction to hear and determine the complaints against Victorian Ms Corbett or Queenslander Mr Gaynor, both residents of different States. Mr Burns' complaint against Mr Gaynor has not yet been heard on the merits.
Judgment: Garry Burns & Attorney General for New South Wales v. Tess Corbett & Ors, Bernard Gaynor & Ors, et al PDF 611.33kb18 APR 18

14 April 2018

Judge: Transgender People A Protected Class, And The Military Can't Enact Trump Ban

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 13 April 2018, US District Judge Marsha J Pechman barred the federal government from implementing President Donald Trump's ban on transgender members of the military, finding that the ban had to be subject to a careful court review before implementation because of the history of discrimination against transgender individuals.
• Order: Ryan Karnoski, et al. v. Donald J Trump, et al. No. 2:17-cv-01297-MJP PDF 284.21kb 13 APR 18

13 April 2018

Portugal Gender Change Law Boosts Transgender Rights, Protects Infants

PORTUGAL: On 13 April 2018, a new gender change law was reportedly approved meaning transgender people in the country will no longer need to be diagnosed as mentally ill to legally change their gender and unnecessary surgery on intersex infants is banned. Portugal becomes the sixth European nation to allow a change of gender without medical or state intervention, following Malta, Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Belgium and only the second nation in the world, after Malta, to ban medically unnecessary surgery on the genitals of intersex infants.
Trinidad and Tobago set to decriminalize homosexuality

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: On 13 April 2018, it was reported that High Court Justice Devindra Rampersad declared '' ... that sections 13 and 16 of the [Sexual Offenses Act] are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void, invalid and of no effect to the extent that these laws criminalise any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct between adults''. A final ruling in the case is scheduled in three months." alt="News item summary" /> TT 13 APR

11 April 2018

Federal Judge in Texas Rules Title VII Bans Anti-LGBT Discrimination

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 04 April, US District Court Judge Lee H Rosenthal granted summary judgment in favour of Phillips 66 Company and against transgender woman Nicole C Wittmer who had alleged unlawful discrimination based on her sex after Phillips rescinded a job offer it had made after interviewing her. The Court noted that without direct evidence of discrimination, Wittmer must rely on circumstantial evidence to raise a factual dispute as to discrimination and found none. Were there such evidence she would have had a case under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964.
• Memorandum and Opinion: Nicole C Wittmer v. Phillips 66 Company H-17-2188 PDF 76.70kb 04 APR 18
Appeal revived in lawsuit over transgender at health club

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 06 April 2018, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered the Court of Appeals to reconsider the claims of Yvette Cormier against Planet Fitness that her rights were violated when she encountered a fully clothed M2F transgender person in the locker room.
• Order: Yvette M Cormier v. Planet Fitness PDF 111.52kb 06 APR 18

08 April 2018

Alaskans reject transgender 'bathroom bill'

UNITED STATES, Alaska: On 08 April 2018, it was reported that fifty-three percent of voters in Anchorage, Alaska voted ''no'' on Prop 1, a citizen initiative that would have required transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates. The preliminary vote results are set to be certified on 17 April.

06 April 2018

Texas Supreme Court sharply splits on same-sex harassment case

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 06 April 2018, on a 6-2 ruling the Texas Supreme Court dismissed Catherine Clark's lawsuit against the Alamo Heights school district finding it could not continue because she did not prove that she had been mistreated because of her gender, as required by state anti-discrimination laws. The dissenting judges found if the sexually suggestive and aggressive comments directed at Clark, were attributed to a man, jurors would have no trouble finding that Clark was harassed by that man because of her gender.
• Majority Opinion: Alamo Heights Independent School District v. Catherine Clark No. 16-0244 PDF 277.20kb. 06 APR 18
• Dissenting Opinion: Alamo Heights Independent School District v. Catherine Clark No. 16-0244 PDF 206.46kb. 06 APR 18

05 April 2018

Victory! Mississippi Supreme Court Rules That Lesbian Spouses Are Both Legal Parents to Their Marital Children

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 05 April 2018, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that non-biological mother Christina ''Chris'' Strickland has parental rights to ZS, a 6-year-old boy born by anonymous donor to her ex-wife Kimberly Day when the two were married, and EJ, their other son adopted by Kimberly.
Opinion: Christina Strickland v. Kimberly Jayroe Strickland Day No. 2016-CA-01504-SCT PDF 5.32MB 05 APR 18
A judge denies a Christian teacher her job back after she made ‘upsetting’ ‘homophobic’ remarks to pupils

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 03 February 2018, Employment Judge Maxwell in the Emploment Tribunals at Bristol dismissed the appeal of Christian teacher Svetlana Powell claiming harassment and discrimination because of her religion or belief when she was fired after she lost control of the classroom and made ''homophobic'' remarks to pupils.
• Judgment: Mrs S Powell v. Marr CorporationLimited 1401951/2016 PDF 123.15kb 03 FEB 18

04 April 2018

Maryland lawmakers vote to ban 'gay conversion therapy'

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 04 April 2018, the House reportedly passed 95-27 bill HB902 to prohibit health professionals from practicing ''gay conversion therapy'' on minors. The measure now to Governor Larry Hogan.
US court grants rights to transgender people in Puerto Rico

PUERTO RICO: On 28 March 2018, US District Court Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo ruled that transgender people in the US territory should be allowed to change the gender on their birth certificate if they wish, finding a previous ban on making such a change was unconstitutional.
• Order: Daniel Arroyo Gonzalez, Victoria Prodriguez Roldan v. Ricasdro Rossello Nevares et al 17-1457CCC PDF 42.49kb 28 MAR 18
Rainbow flag lawsuit dismissed by federal judge in D.C.

UNITED STATES, District of Columbia: On 26 March 2018, US District Judge Randolh D Moss dismissed the complaint filed by Chris Sevier alleging that homosexuality is a religion and that the displaying of rainbow flags by four members of the US House of Representatives in the hallways outside their offices violates his constitutional right to be free from such a religion.
Opinion: Sevier v. Lowenthal et al PDF 198.47kb 26 MAR 18

03 April 2018

Parliament votes to allow wiping of homosexual convictions with new law

NEW ZEALAND: On 03 April 2018 the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill passed its third reading with unanimous support. The Bill awaits Royal Assent and this Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

02 April 2018

Singapore Won't Allow Anyone Under 21 to See Love, Simon

SINGAPORE: On 02 April 2018, it was reported that the Media Development Authority (MDA) had given the film ''Love, Simon'' a rating of R21, meaning it's restricted from viewing for anyone under 21, and, as a result, not screening in most cinemas in the country. ''Love, Simon'' tells the story of a boy coming out as homosexual, but does not feature any full-frontal nudity, violence, or sex.

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