July 2018

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30 July 2018

Victory for LGBTQ Families! 4th Department Determines Civil Union Spouses Have the Right to Equitable Distribution

UNITED STATES, New York: On 25 July 2018, the Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled that property acquired during a civil union is entitled to equitable distribution when that civil union ends, finding that ''comity does require the recognition of property rights arising from civil union in Vermont''.
• Memorandum and Order: Deborah O'Reilly-Morshead v. Christine O'Rielly-Morshead No. 788 CA 18-00071 PDF 29.58kb 25 JUL 19

29 July 2018

Lawsuit revived over transgender woman at Planet Fitness

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 26 July 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the Yvette Cormier v. Planet Fitness case saying the case can proceed in a dispute over the presence of a transgender person in the women's locker room at a Midland health club and ruling that Cormier can argue that her rights under Michigan's consumer-protection law were violated when the club didn't disclose the unwritten policy.
On Remand: Yvette M Cormier v. PF Fitness-Midland et al No. 331286 PDF kb 26 JUL 18

27 July 2018

Judge rules transgender student can use boys bathroom at St. Johns school

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 26 July 2018, US District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan ruled that 18-year-old St. Johns County transgender high school student Drew Adams can use the boys bathroom during his final year in school. The school forced him to use ''gender-neutral'' bathrooms, citing a district policy.
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law: Adams v. The School Board of St. Johns County, Florida No. 3:17-cv-739--J-32JBT PDF 317.72kb 26 JUL 18
Full Appeals Court Declines to Disturb Decision Backing Transgender Students

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 26 July 2018, the full US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit declined 8-4 to rehear the Doe v. Boyertown Area School District case, in which a three-judge panel strongly endorsed the right of transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. At the same time, the panel issued a revised opinion that still upholds a Pennsylvania school district's pro-transgender student policy, but altered some of its reasoning. The four dissenters from that action issued an opinion saying they did not disagree with the panel's affirmance of a federal district judge's denial of relief to the students who challenged the school district's pro-transgender policy. But they took issue with some of the panel's reasoning on what Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires for schools' treatment of transgender students.
Revised Opinion: Joel Doe v. Boyertown Area School District No. 17-3113 PDF 275.51kb 26 JUL 18
Sur Petition for Rehearing: Joel Doe v. Boyertown Area School District No. 17-3113 PDF108.57kb 26 JUL 18

26 July 2018

Westmoreland County extends sexual harassment protections to gay, transgender workers

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 26 July 2018, Westmoreland County Commissioners approved a revised the sexual harassment policy that will for the first time single out protections for those who are gay and transgendered, forbidding any type of sexual harassment that includes physical assaults, unwanted sexual advances, sexual discrimination and retaliation for complaints made under the policy.
'A huge win': New Zealand brings in paid domestic violence leave

NEW ZEALAND: On 25 July 2018, the parliament passed 63-57 the Domestic Violence - Victims' Protection Bill, granting victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave to allow them to leave their partners, find new homes and protect themselves and their children. The Bill received Royal Assent on 30 July 2018 and comes into effect on 01 April 2019.
Judge orders Medicaid-funded surgery for two transgender residents, calls policy sex discrimination

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 24 July 2018, US District Court Judge William M Conley granted an injunction to transgender man Cody Flack from Green Bay and transgender woman Sara Ann Makenzie from Baraboo blocking the Department of Health Services from enforcing a state policy, in place since 1997, which states that Wisconsin Medicaid funds cannot be used for ''transsexual surgery'' for its low-income clients. For now, the decision only applies to Cody Flack and Sara Ann Makenzie allowing them to have surgery paid for by Medicaid while their case progresses through the courts.
Opinion and Order: Flack, Cody et al v. Wisconsin Department of Health Services et al No. 3:18-cv-00309 HTML 25 JUL 18
Judge Dismisses Case Challenging Locker Room Use By Transgender Boy

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 24 July 2018, US District Court Judge Marco A Hernandez dismissed a lawsuit filed by parents in Dallas, Oregon that challenged state and federal policies allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice, finding the school district had properly followed Oregon's anti-discrimination law requiring schools to allow transgender students access to facilities that align with their gender identity, not their biological sex.
• Opinion & Order: Parents for Privacy, et al. v. Dallas School District No. 2, et al No. 3:17-cv-01813-HZ PDF 710.78kb 24 JUL 18
Barber who discriminated against transgender man by refusing give him 'short back and sides' ordered to pay him €5K

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 12 July 2018, Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudication Officer Gerard McMahon ordered Charlies Barbers in the Nutgrove Shopping Centre in Dublin to pay €5,000 to transgender male Lee McLoughlin (28) after being found to have discriminated against him when refusing to give him 'a short back and sides'.
• Adjudication: Lee McLoughlin v. Paula Smith Charlies Barbers No. ADJ-00011948 HTML 12 JUL 18

24 July 2018

Decriminalising homosexuality will have to be done on case-by-case basis

REPUBLIC OF iRELAND: On 24 July 2018, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan reportedly said that expunging the criminal records of men convicted of homosexuality will require each case to be looked at individually. Preliminary searches of Garda Pulse records indicate that 150 cases dating from 1944 to 1993 are at issue and require further examination.

23 July 2018

VICTORY! Delaware Enacts Legislation Protecting LGBTQ Youth from Abusive ''Conversion Therapy''

UNITED STATES, Delaware: On 23 July 2018, Governor John Carney signed SB65 into law. The legislation protects Delaware’s LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called ''conversion'' or ''reparative'' therapy.

21 July 2018

Qatar completely censors articles about LGBTQ community from New York Times

QATAR: On 21 July 2018, it was reported that Qatar has removed whole articles from the Doha edition of The New York Times for highlighting the plight of the emirate's LGBTQ community.

20 July 2018

Federal judge denies gay Ugandan woman’s plea for release, stay of removal

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 19 July 2018, US District Court Judge F Dennis Saylor IV ruled that he has no jurisdiction to delay deportation proceedings of a gay Ugandan woman who has said she believes she could be persecuted, and even killed, saying that by law, the decision of whether to stay the removal of the woman while government officials weigh her claim for asylum based on her sexuality rests with immigration authorities, not the federal district court.
Michigan law doesn’t prohibit LGBT bias, Schuette rules

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 18 July 2018, State Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an opinion finding the Michigan Civil Rights Commission's Interpretative Statement 2018-1, which concludes that the term ''sex'' as used in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act includes sexual orientation and gender identity, is invalid because it conflicts with the original intent of the Legislature as expressed in the plain language of the Act, and as interpreted by Michigan's courts.
• Opinion: Validity of interpretative statement interpreting term "sex" as used in the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act PDF 174.41kb 20 JUL 18

19 July 2018

Full 11th Circuit Declines to Take Up LGBT Workplace Protection Case

UNITED STATES, Georgia: On 18 July 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit declined to take Gerald Lynn Bostock's case en banc Tuesday in a 9-2 ruling, upholding a panel decision that sided with the Clayton County, Georgia, Juvenile Court System. Bostock filed a lawsuit against the county, claiming he was fired in 2013 as a child welfare services coordinator after he revealed he is gay.
• Order: Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County Board of Commissioners & Anor No. 17-13801 PDF 78.10kb 18 JUL 18

18 July 2018

9th Circuit denies another Trump effort to implement transgender military ban

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 18 July 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the Trump administration's motion to stay the preliminary injunction a lower court granted in December 2017, and affirmed last month. The injunction blocks implementation of the ban and enables transgender people to continue enlisting in the military.
• Order: Ryan Karnoski, et al. v. State of Washington No. 18-35347 PDF 274.46kb 18 JUL 18

17 July 2018

Lebanon court rules that gay sex is not a crime

LEBANON: On 12 July 2018, a Mount Lebanon appeals court reportedly uphold the acquittal of nine people prosecuted for being gay in 2017, ruling that the country's law does not ban homosexuality. The nine people had been charged under Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which bans sexual acts which ''contradict the laws of nature'', making them liable to be punished with one year in prison.

16 July 2018

Puerto Rico Begins Allowing Transgender People to Change Their Birth Certificates

PUERTO RICO: On 16 July 2018, a change in the law following the US District Court's 28 March 2018 ruling came into effect, enabling transgender people in Puerto Rico to modify their birth certificates to match their gender identity. To request a correction to the Puerto Rico birth certificate, transgender people should fill a form titled ''Request to Gender Change for Transgender People'' at the Demographic Registry headquarter offices in Puerto Rico.

13 July 2018

Federal Court in Pennsylvania Rejects Argument That Child Welfare Agencies Have a Right to Discriminate

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 13 July 2018, US District Court Judge Tucker ruled that the City of Philadelphia can require foster care agencies with city contracts to abide by its nondiscrimination policies. This ruling is the first time a federal court has said that government-contracted child welfare agencies do not have a right to exclude same-sex couples or others who don't meet an agency's religious test from fostering children.
• Memorandum: Fulton v. City of Philadelphia No. 18-2076 PDF 287.09kb 13 JUL 18
Belarus Refuses Asylum For Uzbek Transgender Woman

BELARUS: On 13 July 2018, it was reported that Belarusian authorities had refused asylum to a M2F transgender woman from Uzbekistan, who asked to be referred to as Karina, and who says she will face torture and abuse if she goes back. The decision of the authorities not to provide her with asylum cited the lack of proof showing that she may face torture and violence back in Uzbekistan.

10 July 2018

Ohio family says judge violated transgender son's rights by denying name-change request

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 22 June 2018, Warren County Probate Court Judge Joseph Kirby denied the application of 15-year-old F2M transgender Heidi Claire Whitaker to change his name to Elliott John Whitaker, finding Elliott lacked ''the age, maturity, knowledge, and stability to make this decision''.
• Decision (Registration): In the matter of Change of Name of Heidi Claire Whitaker No. 20189073 PDF 137.07kb 22 JUN 18

09 July 2018

Court: Kansas did not violate transgender inmate's rights

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 09 July 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling in favor of prison officials in a dispute with Michelle Renee Lamb, finding prison officials aren't deliberately indifferent to a transgender inmate who says her medical treatment is so poor it violates her constitutional rights.
• Opinion: Lamb v. Norwood No. 17-3171 PDF 149.57kb 09 JUL 18
Maine governor vetoes ban on therapy for unwanted gay attraction, gender confusion

UNITED STATES, Maine: On 06 July 2018, Republican Governor Paul LePage vetoed legislation LD912 that would forbid people from ''advertis[ing], offer[ing] or administer[ing] conversion therapy to individuals under 18 years of age'', with ''conversion therapy'' defined as ''practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity''. It contained an exception for clergy, but threatened to suspend or revoke the licenses of medical professionals, school guidance counselors, or school psychologists.

08 July 2018

Now, another transgender dons legal robe

INDIA: On 07 July 2018, 38-year-old M2F transgender S. Viji, a resident of Thalamuthu Nagar, was reported to have enrolled herself in Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, becoming the second lawyer from her community in the State.
Transgenders: Making Legal History

INDIA: On 30 June 2018, the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Bar Council reportedly allowed Sathyasri Sharmila, a 36-year-old M2F transgender, to enrol herself as a lawyer, becoming India's first trangender lawyer at a function held at Madras High Court, where Justice PN Prakash administered the oath of office to 600 law graduates, including Sharmila." alt="News item summary" /> IN 08 JUL
Indian Psychiatric Society supports decriminalisation of homosexuality, says it’s not a disorder

INDIA: On 07 July 2018, the Indian Psychiatric Society released an online statement, saying that it recognises ''same sex sexuality as a normal variant of human sexuality much like heterosexuality and bisexuality''. It also supports thedecriminalisation of homosexual behaviour.
• Statement: Position statement on Homosexuality PDF 1.30MB 07 JUL 18 (Accessed 09 JUL 18)

07 July 2018

California Senate Takes Action on Pro-Gay Measures

UNITED STATES, California: On 07 July 2018, it was reported that the California Senate has gone on the pro-gay-rights attack by passing two new measures. One passed in a unanimous 36-0 vote, reverses a 60-year-old law that instituted anti-gay bigotry in state agencies; in the other, the state Senate voted 22-12 in favor of a resolution urging the President and Congress to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

06 July 2018

Spain offers free fertility treatment for lesbians and single women

SPAIN: On 06 July 2018, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's new Socialist government agreed to offer free reproductive treatment to lesbians and single women, restoring a benefit cancelled by the conservative administration it toppled in June. The measure will come into effect in January 2019.
Being Transgender Is a Mental Disorder, Israeli Insurance Company Says

ISRAEL: On 06 July 2018, it was reported that the Ayalon Insurance Company refused to finance a mastectomy for a transgender man, being told his policy does not cover mental disorders or psychiatric treatments. An appeal against the insurance company has been submitted, via the Human Rights Clinic at Tel Aviv University, claiming that its attitude reflects discrimination and prejudice, and that being transgender is not a mental disease.

05 July 2018

France's court says no legal reason to restrict lesbian couples from IVF

FRANCE: On 05 July 2018, it was reported that the Conseil d'Etat, France's highest administrative court, will hand its report on planned revisions to the Bioethics Law to Prime Minister Macron on Friday. It is understood that the report finds there are no legal reasons not to give single women and lesbian couples access to medically-assisted reproduction.
Osaka City to recognise same-sex partnership from July 9

JAPAN: On 05 July 2018, it was reported that the City of Osaka had announced that it will be legally recognising same-sex couples as of 09 July 2018. Same-sex couples who reside in the city, or planning to move to Osaka in the near future, will be able to register at their local office. All you need for the application is a copy of your residence certificate (or documents which prove that you're moving to Osaka), proof of current marital status (which states that you're single), and an official form of ID.
Govt Files Appeal In Same Sex Marriage Case

BERMUDA: On 05 July 2018, the Government confirmed that an appeal in the same sex marriage legal case had been filed.

04 July 2018

New Jersey Governor Signs Bills Giving Transgender Residents More Rights

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 03 July 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed SB478 and SB493, to allow birth and death certificates for transgender residents to be amended to reflect their gender identity. People may identify themselves as female, male or undesignated without undergoing gender confirmation surgery or obtaining proof from their doctor to update their birth certificate. SB705, establishes the Transgender Equality Task Force, which will ensure that protections are put in place for the trans community and oversee those efforts.
Bulgarian Court has Recognized the Rights of a Same-sex Couple

BULGARIA: On 04 July 2018, it was reported that the administrative court in Sofia-city had allowed the residence of a married homosexual couple in Bulgaria with the resulting rights. In June 2016, Australian Kristina and French Mariama married in France and Kristina was later granted a residence permit in Bulgaria on the basis of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of free movement and residence in the EU. This directive states that every citizen of the European Union has freedom of movement for himself and for his family within the Union, even if his spouse is not a national of an EU Member State. The Administrative Court has accepted that EU law precludes a Member State from refusing a third-country national married to a Union citizen the right to reside in the territory of that Member State even on the grounds that the law of that country does not provide for marriage between persons of the same sex.
In historic move, court rules Ecuador's same-sex marriage ban is illegal

ECUADOR: On 04 July 2018, it was reported that judges in the Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Court in the city of Cuenca ruled in favor of two lesbian couples. The Civil Registry office had rejected the couples's marriage license applications. In two separate hearings Judges Iliana Vallejo and Ruth Alvarez ruled the Civil Registry must 'immediately'’ allow the women to get married. The Civil Registry office appealed the decision. The case has now escalated to the Provincial Court of Justice of Azuay.
Same-sex couples in Hong Kong 'should be granted lifelong spousal visas', Court of Final Appeal rules

HONG KONG: On 04 July 2018, the Court of Final Appeal ruled unanimously in favour of lesbian expatriate QT, requiring the city's Immigration Department to grant lifelong same-sex couples spousal visas just as it would for those who are married and heterosexual. The decision means the marriage status and civil union partnerships of same-sex couples will be recognised in Hong Kong for the specific purpose of a dependant visa. However, the city’s definition of marriage, between a man and a woman, remains unchanged.
Judgment: Director of Imiigration v. QT [2018] HKCFA 28 HTML 04 JUL 18

03 July 2018

Bethlehem council backs ban on conversion therapy

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 03 July 2018, the Bethlehem City Council unanimously backed an ordinance known as the Appropriate Mental Health Services Ordinancemaking it unlawful to attempt conversion therapy on minors within city limits and empowering the city to revoke the business license from any licensed mental health professional who offered the therapy to a minor. Council is expected to take its second and final vote later this month.

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