March 2018

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30 March 2018

Russia Bans Popular LGBT Website for 'Propaganda of Nontraditional Sexual Relations'

RUSSIA: On 30 March 2018, it was reported that media regulator Roskomnadzor has added, a prominent website for the Russian gay community, to a list of banned sites for violating a law on gay propaganda. Roskomnadzor served the ban notice pursuant to a court ruling in Siberia that it ''disseminated information that promotes non-traditional sexual relations''.
Ban Notice (in Russian and English): Notice of making an entry ... PDF 439.85kb 30 MAR 18

26 March 2018

Appeals court says even Michigan prisoners have civil rights

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 27 March 2018, the Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that state prisoners have civil rights and that a lawsuit brought by hundreds of state prisoners who allege they were sexually abused by older inmates while held in state prisons can proceed. The case was brought under the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) and finds the amended act excluding a state or county correctional facility from the purview of the Act unconstitutional.
• Majority Opinion: John Does 11-18 and Jane Doe 1 v. Department of Corrections et al. No. 332536 PDF 116.01kb 27 MAR 18
• Dissenting Opinion: John Does 11-18 and Jane Doe 1 v. Department of Corrections et al. No. 332536 PDF 184.90kb 27 MAR 18

24 March 2018

Stockholm Shells Out for Forced Sterilization of Transgender Persons

SWEDEN: On 21 March 2018, the Swedish parliament reportedly approved the government's proposal to pay compensation to people who changed their gender from 1972 to 2013 and became subject to mandatory sterilization. The decision will come into force on 01 May 2018. The compensation amount is 225,000 SEK (some 21,000 euros) per person.
White House announces ban on transgender people serving in military

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 23 March 2018, President Trump issued a memorandum to the Secretary of Defence and Secretary for Homeland Security affirming ''that transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances'', withdrawing his 25 August memorandum and ordering that the Secretaries ''may exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals''.
• Memorandum: Military Service by Transgender Individuals PDF 188.43kb 23 MAR 18

23 March 2018

Louisiana High Court Rejects LGBT Rights Order

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 23 March 2018,the State Supreme Court rejected 4-3 Governor John Bel Edwards' attempt to revive his executive order protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in state government.

22 March 2018

Gay priest Jeremy Pemberton's discrimination appeal dismissed

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 22 March 2018,the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Canon Jeremy Pemberton who was prevented from officiating after marrying his partner in 2014, so allowing to discriminate legally against some LGBT people in relation to their employment.
• Judgment: The Reverend Canon Jeremy Pemberton v. The Right Reverend Richard Inwood [2018] EWCA Civ 564 HTML 22 MAR 18
Kenyan court blocks anal probe as test for homosexuality

KENYA: On 22 March 2018, Court of Appeal Judges Alnasir Visram, Wanjiru Karanja and Martha Koome reportedly ruled that the high court decision allowing the use of an anal examination to test whether two men had gay sex was unconstitutional and violated human rights.

19 March 2018

£47,000 Awarded for Severe Transgender Discrimination and Harassment

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 22 December 2017,Employment Judge Lewis in the London Central Employment Tribunal awarded Miss A de Souza E Souza £47,433 including £25,000 for injury to feelings she having been subjected to harassment related to gender reassignment bu colleagues and direct gender reassignment discrimination by Primark Stores Ltd.
Judgment: Miss A de Souza E Souze v. Primark Stores Ltd No. 2206063/2017 PDF 185.95kb 22 DEC 17

17 March 2018

Law silent on adoption of boys by gay singles

SINGAPORE: On 17 March 2018, it was reported that District Judge Shobha G. Nair rejected a gay man's application to adopt a boy, pointing out that while the Adoption Act protects girls from potential sexual abuse in the hands of single male adopters, it is silent on boys being adopted. The Judges said, ''Would we not need to be concerned about male children in the care of single male applicants with a different sexual orientation? Should the same position not be taken with respect to single female applicants? Are these very suggestions ignorant or has history shown us that these are legitimate concerns to be looked into?''

15 March 2018

Only male or female can get PAN card, transgender told

INDIA: On 15 March 2018, it was reported that the PAN card application form, which can be downloaded from the Income Tax department's website, does not have a 'third gender' option, making it difficult for Bareilly resident Mohini to open a bank account despite producing a voter ID and Aadhaar card on which 'transgender', is clearly imprinted. Bank officials said PAN cards were not mandatory to open a bank account but are necessary if a transaction of over Rs 50,000 is to be made.
Lambda Legal Reaches Favorable Settlement for Passion Star, Transgender Woman Sexually Assaulted in Texas Men's Prisons

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 15 March 2018, Lambda Legal announced the resolution of a lawsuit against Texas Department of Criminal Justice (Case: Joshua D Zollicoffer a/k/a Passion Star v. Livingston, et al. No. 4:14-cv-03037). The settlement includes a monetary payment, along with systemic policy changes and training of TDCJ staff to better protect LGBT people still being held in TDCJ facilities from sexual abuse.

13 March 2018

Northern Territory passes adoption equality for same-sex couples

AUSTRALIA, Northern Territory: On 13 March 2018, the Northern Territory legislature passed the Adoption of Children Legislation Amendment (Equality) Bill 2017 allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.
• Bill: Adoption of Children Legislation Amendment (Equality) Bill 2017 PDF 141.89kb 16 NOV 17
Platonic couple who live separately made legal parents of surrogate child

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 13 March 2018, Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, made a parental order that a married couple having a ''platonic and not romantic'' relationship are the legal parents of a surrogate child. The couple live in different homes, as one of them is gay (which the other half knew when they got married).
• Judgment: In the Matter of X (A Child) [2018] EWFC 15 RTF 13 MAR 18
Federal Court Rules Maryland Transgender Teen's Bathroom and Locker Room Access is Protected by Law

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 12 March 2018, US District Court Judge George L. Russell, III ruled that the right of transgender students to use the restroom and locker rooms in alignment with their gender identity is protected by federal and state law, saying ''M.A.B's claims come down to a boy asking his school to treat him just like any other boy. The Court finds that Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause provide M.A.B. grounds to do so''.
Memorandum Opinion: M.A.B. v. Board of Education of Talbot County No. GLR-16-2622 PDF 360.57kb 12 MAR 18
Richard Simmons ordered to pay $130,000 after transgender lawsuit

UNITED STATES, California: On 09 March 2018, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory Keosian issued his ruling ordering Richard Simmons to pay the National Enquirer and Radar Online nearly $130,000 following the dismissal of Simmons' defamation lawsuit in August 2017. The defendants sought $220,000.

09 March 2018

Yardley Borough Council unanimously adopts anti-discrimination ordinance; law extends protections to LGBT community

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 06 March 2018, the Yardley Borough unanimously adopted Anti-Discrimination Ordinance No. 474 which extends protections against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) community based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Thammasat U ordered by court to rehire transgender lecturer in 'Women's Day win'

THAILAND: On 08 March 2018, the Central Administrative Court reportedly ruled that Thammasat University must sign an employment contract with transgender Kathawut ''Kath'' Khangpiboon within 60 days of the ruling. Despite the faculty's approval of her employment, the Thammasat executive board blocked Kathawut from being hired as a permanent lecturer. The Court dismissed Kathawut's request for compensation.

08 March 2018

Georgia governor signs LGBT ‘neutral’ adoption bill

UNITED STATES, Georgia: On 05 March 2018, Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia signed into law bill HB159 which includes no restrictions against same-sex couple adoptions. The Senate on 23 February passed the Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act, or SB 375 that calls for allowing private adoption agencies receiving state funds to deny adoptions for certain couples or individual parents based on ''sincerely held religious beliefs''.

07 March 2018

US appeals court says civil rights law covers transgender workers

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 07 March 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against transgender workers. RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc in Detroit unlawfully discriminated against Aimee Stephens, formerly known as Anthony Stephens, based on her sex." alt="News item summary" /> 07 MAR 18
Opinion: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Anor v. RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes, Inc No. 16-2424 PDF 219.26kb 07 MAR 18

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06 March 2018

Another first in Kyhber-Pakhtunkhwa: 30 transgender persons get driving licences

PAKISTAN: On 06 March 2018, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa traffic police reportedly formally granted 30 people who are transgender driving licences apart from giving them driving lessons.

05 March 2018

Victory! Court Orders Idaho to Issue Accurate Birth Certificates to Transgender People

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 05 March 2018, US Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled that the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare can't bar transgender people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates, giving the State until 06 April to begin considering applications to change the sex listed on birth certificates under new, constitutionally sound rules.
Memorandum Decision and Order: F.V. and Dani Martin v. Russell Barron et al No. 1:17-CV-00170-CWD PDF 1.03MB 05 MAR 18
Poloncarz Signs Local Law Banning Comversion Therapy

UNITED STATES, New York: On 05 March 2018, Erie County Executive Mark C Poloncarz signed into effect a local law banning conversion therapy (or reparative therapy) to ensure the physical and psychological well-being of minors in Erie County. Violations of the local law are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail.
Judge slams 'illogical' decision that homosexuality is fixed at birth

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 02 March 2018, Justice Jagot in the Federal Court of Australia ruled that the premise that homosexuality is fixed at and immutable from birth prevented the Administrative Appeals Tribunal from engaging with claims and material and was an irrational and illogical reasoning process.
Judgment: Abboud v. Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2018] FCA 185 Judgment: HTML 02 MAR 18

04 March 2018

Washington State sends bill to ban gay ‘cure’ therapy on kids to Governor for approval

UNITED STATES, Washington: On 03 March 2018, the Senate concurred with House amendments and passed 33-16 Senate Bill SB 5733 that now goes to Governor Jay Inslee for signing in to law. The bill would ban the widely condemned practice of gay 'cure' (or reparative) therapy on minors. [Ed: The Bill was delivered to the Governor 09 March].

03 March 2018

Queensland Government scraps ''discriminatory and outdated'' divorce-rule for transsexuals

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 03 March 2018, it was reported that the Government announced the amendment of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registrations Act 2003 so that transsexual people in Queensland will no longer be forced to divorce their partners to have their new gender legally recognised. Under Section 22 of the current Act, anyone who undergoes sexual reassignment surgery in Queensland is made to divorce their partners in order for their new gender to be legally recognised.
Brazil transgender groups welcome landmark court rulings

BRAZIL: On 03 March 2018, it was reported that the Superior Electoral Court ruled trans candidates are now authorized to run for elected office using their preferred name that will appear on electronic ballot boxes across the country. Also, the Supreme Court on 01 March (unanimously) ruled people can have their preferred name on their civil documents without surgery or hormonal therapy and without the need of a judicial document or medical report.

02 March 2018

Divided 7th Circuit upholds dismissal of transgender man’s name-change suit

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 02 March 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled 2-0 that Mexican native John Doe, a biological woman, with asylum in the United States cannot continue with his suit against various Indiana officials challenging the citizenship requirement in Indiana's name-change statute after the Court found he lacked standing to bring his case.
Opinion: John Doe v. Eric Holcomb No. 17-1756 PDF 02 MAR 18

01 March 2018

Justice Secretary urges armed forces to consider gay convictions pardon

UNITED KINGDOM: On 01 March 2018, it was reported that Scotland's Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said he would ''encourage'' the armed forces to formally pardon men convicted of discriminatory historic sexual offences and disregard these convictions, it being ''difficult'' for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to refuse to take action on men who were criminalised under military rules given UK and Scottish legislation.
Netizen Report: Tunisian Court Refuses to Ban Online LGBTQ Radio Shams Rad

TUNISIA: On 01 March 2018, a primary court in Tunis was reported to have refused to ban the online radio station Shams Rad, which caters to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. The decision was in response to a legal complaint filed by a union representing imams (worship leaders at mosques). The group asked the court to request that the Tunisian Internet Agency block access to Shams Rad under the pretext that it threatens ''social and family values''.
Gay couples have until end of May to marry

BERMUDA: On 01 March 2018, home affairs minister Walton Brown reportedly revealed that same-sex couples will be able to marry until the end of May as the introduction of the Domestic Partnership Act had been delayed to 01 June to allow planned same-sex marriages in Bermuda, and on island-registered ships, to take place.
Lesbian couple ‘can’t stop grandparents from seeing donor sperm boy’

UNITED KINGDOM, England and Wales: On 20 February 2018, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by a lesbian couple Jane and Carol attempting to stop the parents of a sperm donor Brian seeing Aiden, their biological grandson. Three top judges ruled that fostering the boy's relationship with his paternal family would help him understand the ''big picture of his birth story''.
• Judgment: Re G (A Child) [2018] EWCA Civ 305 HTML 20 FEB 18
Another Victory for Married Lesbian Parents

UNITED STATES, New York: On 21 February 2018, the Supreme Court Appellate Division Second Department followed a precedent set on 25 January by the State Appellate Division's Albany-based Third Department, dismissing sperm donor Joseph O's attempt to establish legal parentage and win visitation rights with a child born to married lesbian couple Danielle B and Joynell B.
• Decision and Order: In the Matter of Joseph O. (Anonymous) v. Danielle B. (Anonymous), et al. 2017-00316 PDF 45.79kb 21 FEB 18
Court: Retired gay teacher is entitled to spousal benefits

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 28 February 2018, the Commonwealth Court affirmed the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County that a teacher who retired before same-sex marriage was legalized is entitled to health care benefits for his husband.
Opinion: Gateway School District v. Gateway Education Association No. 738 C.D. 2017 PDF 259.19kb 28 FEB 18
Manitoba Appeal Court upholds ruling that cost anti-gay marriage commissioner his certification

CANADA, Manitoba: On 12 February 2018, the Court of Appeal unanimously (3-0) ruled against Kevin Kisilowsky, a self-described ''Christian missionary evangelist'' who said he would never perform ceremonies for same-sex couples and was stripped of his certification by a November 2016 judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench.
• Judgment: Kevin Richard Kisilowsky v. HM The Queen 2018 MBCA 10 PDF 379.73kb 12 FEB 18

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