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April 2019

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30 April 2019

Iowa Republicans vote to prohibit Medicaid dollars from paying for transgender surgery

UNITED STATES, Iowa: On 27 April 2019, Iowa lawmakers reportedly approved a health and human services appropriations bill (SB0016) containing a provision that would allow government entities to opt out of using public insurance dollars, including Medicaid, to pay for transition-related surgeries. The legislation will overrule a March decision by the Iowa Supreme Court that found that the Hawkeye State's Medicaid program may not discriminate against transgender people by refusing to cover the costs of any gender confirmation surgery that has been deemed medically necessary.
Senate Approves Marital Rape Repeal, Urged By Determined Survivor

UNITED STATES, Minnesota: On 29 April 2019, the Senate voted unanimously to repeal a law (609.349 Voluntary Relationships) that shields spouses and domestic partners from prosecution for marital rape. The Governor signed the repeal into law 02 May 2019 and it is effective 01 July 2019.
Highest Swiss court says sexual orientation not protected under equality law

SWITZERLAND: On 05 April 2019, the Federal Court ruled that the law on equality does not apply to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The case was brought by a homosexual man who claimed that the defense unit of the Swiss army did not extend his fixed employment contract because of his sexual orientation.
• Judgment (in German): Complainant (redacted) v. Defense Group, Stéphanie Handschin, Army Staff, HR, Group Defense No. 8C_594/2018 HTML 05 APR 19

29 April 2019

Appeal dismissed in challenge to Alberta gay-straight alliance law

CANADA, Alberta: On 29 April 2019, the Court of Appeal dismissed 2-1 an appeal led by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms seeking to have the School Act legislation allowing gay-straight alliances in schools put on hold until there's a ruling on its constitutionality.
• Memorandum of Judgment: PT v Alberta 2019 ABCA 158 PDF 417.51kb 29 APR 19

25 April 2019

AZ Supreme Court says family courts can determine care, but only in special situations

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 25 April 2019, the State Supreme Court ruled that family courts have the authority to determine the type of care a child can receive, but only in limited circumstances, in a case that centered on a divorced couple who disagreed on how to care for their child with gender dysphoria, saying ''When an impasse occurs, the court is authorized to determine not only the parenting plan element in dispute, but also 'other factors that are necessary to promote and protect the emotional and physical health of the child'''. The case was remanded to the family court with the directive that any future directives be narrowly tailored and supported by evidence that harm is imminent for the child.
• Opinion: Paul E., v. Courtney F. No. CV-18-0111-PR PDF 163.26kb 25 APR 19
Brazilian Federal Supreme Court Jurist Cármen Lúcia Suspends 'Gay Cure'

BRAZIL: On 24 April 2019, senior jurist of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court Cármen Lúcia reportedly announced that she had suspended a decision by the Federal Court that had previously allowed Brazilian psychologists to provide 'sexual reorientation' to homosexual patients in what was commonly dubbed as the 'gay cure' treatment. The suspension remains valid until the matter is discussed by the Federal Supreme Court.
Italy's high court rules on gay migrant who was denied asylum

ITALY: On 23 April 2019, a judgment filed in the Court of Cassation found in favour of Bakayoko Aboubakar S, an Ivorian denied refugee status in Italy even though he said he faced serious threats from his family back home. The Court ruled that homosexual persons whose country of origin does not offer adequate protection against very serious threats from private individuals have the right to international protection. The case will now go before another appeals court for a final decision.
• Sentenza (in Italian): Bakayoko Aboubakar S v. Ministry of the Interior No. 11176 PDF 449.80kb 23 APR 19

24 April 2019

Father Gagged, Found Guilty Of 'Family Violence' For Calling His Trans Daughter A 'She'

CANADA, British Columbia: On 15 April 2019, Justice Francesca Marzari in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada, declared a father guilty of ''family violence'' against his 14-year-old daughter on the sole basis that he had engaged in ''expressions of rejection of [her] gender identity''. These ''expressions'' revolved entirely around his polite refusal to refer to his daughter as a boy in private, and his steady choice to affirm that she is a girl in public.
• Oral Reasons for Judgment: A.B. v. C.D. and E.F. No. 2019 BCSC 604 PDF 164.25kb 15 APR 19
• Protection Order: Max v. Clark and Sarah No. E190334 PDF 355.33kb 15 APR 19

Federal judge expands Wisconsin Medicaid coverage of transgender surgery

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 23 April 2019, US District Judge William Conley certified the class action status of the case challenging Wisconsin's rule denying Medicaid coverage for medically necessary transgender surgeries and extended the injunction to cover anyone in the class, pending the final outcome of the lawsuit.
• Opinion and Order: Cody Flack, et al. v. Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Linda Seemeyer No. 18-cv-00309-wmc PDF 218.45kb 23 APR 19
Police to allow transgender recruits in Pakistan province

PAKISTAN, Sindh Province: On 24 April 2019, Inspector General of the Sindh police Syed Kaleem Imam reportedly said that transgender people in Pakistan's Sindh province will be able to serve as regular duty police officers, adding it was time to offer more opportunities to a group relegated to menial jobs in government.

22 April 2019

Indian Court: Transgender Women Can Be 'Hindu Brides'

INDIA, Tamil Nadu: On 22 April 2019, Justice GR Swaminathan in the Madras High Court held that the term 'bride' as per the Hindu Marriage Act would also mean a transsexual, and not just refer to someone born as a woman. The court also ordered the state government to issue a Government Order banning sex reassignment surgeries on inter-sex infants and children.
• Order: Arunkumar, Sreeja v. The Inspector General of Registration et al Nos. WP(MD)No. 4125 of 2019, No 3220 of 3019 PDF 286.37kb 22 APR 19
Michigan adoption agency reverses LGBT policy

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 22 April 2019, major faith-based foster care and adoption contractor for the state of Michigan Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services, reportedly said it will now place children in LGBT homes, reversing course following a recent legal settlement.
Philadelphia Can Exclude Catholic Foster Care Agency That Won’t Allow Same-Sex Couples To Foster Children, Court Rules

UNITED STATES, Pennsylvania: On 22 April 2019, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the Philadelphia city government can require that contractor Catholic Social Services does not discriminate against same-sex couples in its foster care program finding that the city did not target the agency because of its religious beliefs but acted only to enforce its own nondiscrimination policy in the face of what seemed to be a clear violation.
• Opinion: Sharon Fulton, et al. v. City of Philadelphia No. 18-2574 PDF 120.50kb 22 APR 19
Court to take up LGBT rights in the workplace

UNITED STATES, Georgia, New York, Michigan: On 22 April 2019, it was reported that the US Supreme Court would decide whether federal employment discrimination laws protect LGBT employees when it considers appeals in Altitude Express v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC

20 April 2019

London court gives gay man parental rights over surrogate child after split in landmark verdict

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 20 April 2019, it was reported that Mrs Justice Theis in the High Court granted the non-biological father K parental rights over the child N he had with his former partner L via a surrogate P using K's sperm to create an embryo at a US clinic back in 2017. The child was born in Canada in October that same year.
• Judgment: Re N (Surrogacy: Enduring Family Relationship; Child's home) (2019) EWFC 21 PDF 239.23kb 07 FEB 19

19 April 2019

Court lifts ban on LGBT Pride events in Ankara

TURKEY: On 19 April 2019, it was reported that the 12th administrative court lifted the 17-month ban on LBGT events in Ankara.
British Columbia Supreme Court judge orders father not to disclose transgender teen's identity to media or anyone else

CANADA, British Columbia: On 15 April 2019, Justice Francesca Marzari in the BC Supreme Court ruled in transgender boy AB's favour, granting an order restraining the father from attempting to persuade the teen to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria, stating that the father's sharing of private information ''has exposed his child to degrading and violent public commentary'' ­ and that the father was promoting his ''own interests above those of his child''.
• Oral Reasons for Judgment: A.B. v, C.D. and E.F. No. 2019 BCSC 604 HTM: 15 APR 19

18 April 2019

Ontario’s decision to repeal the sex-ed curriculum doesn't violate transgender girl’s rights, tribunal rules

CANADA, Ontario: On 12 April 2019, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario dismissed the argument that the government was discriminating against an 11-year-old sixth-grader - identified only as AB - by not including mandatory lessons on gender identity in the curriculum at the time she filed the complaint, saying a separate court decision in favour of the government made the girl's complaint moot.
Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Brought by Lesbian Teacher against Hesperia USD

UNITED STATES, California: On 18 April 2019, it was reported that a settlement agreement had been reached with Hesperia Unified School District (HUSD) in the employment discrimination lawsuit brought on behalf of Julia Frost, a lesbian teacher who supported LGBTQ students as co-advisor of the students' Gay-Straight Alliance club while teaching English at Sultana High School. Ms. Frost will receive $850,000.

17 April 2019

Military academies begin to follow military transgender ban

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 17 April 2019, it was reported that the US Naval Academy in Annapolis currently accepts transgender students and retains midshipmen who transition to another gender but will ban people who are transgender from attending the school, beginning with the 2020 school year. The US Coast Guard has also implemented the new policy, as of April 12 saying that past medical treatment, such as gender-reassignment surgery or hormone therapy, may disqualify future applicants from joining up unless their doctor says they can demonstrate three years of ''stability in his/her biological sex immediately before applying to serve''. The Air Force Academy will conform with Defense Department policy when admitting future cadets which means transgender people can serve ''in their biological sex'' if they meet Defense Department standards for that sex. People who have had cross-sex hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgery or genital reconstruction surgery are disqualified.

16 April 2019

Lower approval rates, higher finance fees evidence of discrimination for same-sex borrowers

UNITED STATES: On 16 April 2019, it was reported that researchers in Iowa State University's Ivy College of Business analyzed national mortgage data from 1990 to 2015 and found the approval rate for same-sex couples was 3 to 8 percent lower. The study also included a smaller dataset with more detail about applicants' work history and credit worthiness. Based on this data, same-sex applicants were 73 percent more likely to be denied than heterosexual couples.

15 April 2019

Navy allows transgender sailors to dress according to gender identity while off duty

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 19 March 2019, a signal signed by Vice Admiral Robert Burke, clarifies that there is no policy prohibiting servicemembers to ''express themselves off-duty in their preferred gender''. ''Appropriate civilian attire, as outlined in the uniform regulations, will not be determined based on gender''. Deployed sailors may be restricted in off-duty attire choices ''to meet local conditions and host-nation agreements with foreign countries'' at the discretion of regional commanders and senior officers.
Signal: Interim Guidance for Service in the Navy by Transgender Persons and Persons with Gender Dysphoria HTML 19 MAR 19

11 April 2019

Swiss Supreme Court orders historic revote on family tax breaks

SWITZERLAND: On 11 April 2019, it was reported that the Supreme Court annulled the 'For marriage and family - against the marriage penalty' referendum result, ruling that the government had failed to provide correct information to voters on the proposal and ordering a revote. The government misreported that 80,000 married and registered couples were in line to benefit from reduced taxes, whereas it was 454,000 couples. Married couples, must file their taxes jointly rather than individually, which can mean a higher tax bill than they would have had as a cohabiting couple.
Ducey signs law repealing teaching restriction considered anti-LGBTQ

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 11 March 2019, the state Senate voted 19-10 to pass Senate Bill 1346 and Governor Doug Ducey signed it minutes later. The Bill repeals a controversial 28-year-old law prohibiting HIV and AIDS instruction that ''promotes a homosexual lifestyle''.

10 April 2019

Ashwin Raj: Same-Sex Marriage Not A 'Right'

FIJI: On 10 April 2019, the Director of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj reportedly expressed the view that international human rights law does not necessarily recognise same sex marriage as a right, based on the (quaere: 24 June 2010) European Court of Human Rights finding (quaere: in the case of Case of Schalk and Kopf v. Austria) that the European Convention of Human Rights does not include the right to marriage for same sex couples and equality on the grounds of sex and gender may be delivered as long as the marital status does not carry with it legal rights which are not available to unmarried couples.
Tasmania makes gender optional on birth certificates after Liberal crosses floor

AUSTRALIA, Tasmania: On 10 April 2019, the legislature passed the Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage Amendments) Bill 2018. The Bill makes gender on birth certificates optional, removes the requirement for transgender people to have surgery in order to have their gender recognised and enables 16-year-olds and older to change their birth registered gender without parental approval.
'Very Important Precedent': Russian Court Rules Transgender Woman Was Fired Illegally

RUSSIA, Vladimir Oblast: On 09 April 2019, the Frunze District Court reportedly ordered a printing house to give Anna Grigoryeva her job back and pay her 10,000 rubles ($155) for moral damages as well as 1.8 million rubles ($27,800) in overdue wages. Grigoryeva worked at the printing house for 10 years as a man but was fired in 2017 after she re-registered with the authorities as a woman.
Same-sex marriage - Cayman Islands Appeal Court grants stay

CAYMAN ISLANDS: On 10 April 2019, the Court of Appeal granted a stay of the same-sex marriage ruling of Chief Justice Anthony Smellie in the Grand Court. President of the Court of Appeal Sir John Goldring said the court accepted that it risked creating a legal anomaly if same-sex couples were allowed to marry and the Chief Justice's decision was later overturned on appeal.
Transgender activist wins High Court battle to force Mumsnet to reveal identity of user who 'made defamatory comments about her' - after a mother was arrested for calling her a man on Twitter

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 08 April 2019, Mr Justice William Davis ordered Mumsnet Limited to provide Stephanie Hayden with the identity of user 'ALittleHelp18' who allegedly abused, harassed and defamed her.
• Order: Stephanie Rebecca Hayden v. Mumsnet Limited No. QB-2019 JPEG 111kb 08 APR 19

08 April 2019

Probate Code Section 859 Provides a Double Size Hammer

UNITED STATES, California: On 18 January 2019, the Court of Appeals of California considered the Probate Code section 859 providing that the wrongdoer ''shall be liable for twice the value of the property recovered'', and may be liable for legal expenses incurred to recover the property, if you can prove the wrongdoer took the asset in bad faith, through undue influence, or through the commission of financial elder abuse, providing guidance as to calculating ''twice the value''.
Opinion: Conservatorship of the Person and Estate of Joseph E Ribal. Linda Rogers v. Lu Tuan Nguyen No. G056105 Word 18 JAN 19
Massachusetts becomes 16th state to ban 'ex-gay' therapy for youth

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 08 April 2019, Governor Charlie Baker reportedly signed Bill HR140 into law making it unlawful for health care providers to attempt to change ''the sexual orientation and gender identity'' of any patient younger than 18. Massachusetts is the 16th State to do so.
Transgender man sued Colorado tire company that wouldn’t hire him, gets $60K and an apology

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 08 April 2019, A&E Tire Inc., settled the claim of discrimination on the basis of sex and for not conforming to gender stereotypes filed by the US EEOC on behalf of Egan J Woodward, agreeing to pay $60,000 with a denial of liability. Woodward was offered a job but after checking female on a drug test form the company hired another individual who applied later.

05 April 2019

Peru Court Recognizes Legal Marriage of Lesbian Couple

PERU: On 22 March 2019, the Superior Court of Justice in Lima ruled in favor of lesbian couple Susel Paredes and Gracia María Aljovín who sued the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status for refusing to register their 2016 marriage, which took place in Miami, Florida. The Court found that since the couple were married abroad, and Peru's Constitution does not expressly or tacitly restrict marriage between persons of the same sex, the legal criteria must redound to international norms set by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Sentencia (in Spanish): Susel Ana María Paredes Pique and Gracia María Francisca Aljovin de Losdada v. Registro Nacional de Identificación y Estado Civil (en adelante RENIEC) y el Ministerio de Justicia, MINJUS No. 10776-2017 PDF 315.62kb 22 MAR 19

04 April 2019

Court orders stay in case of transgender Idaho inmate’s surgery

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 20 March 2019, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled the Idaho Department of Correction does not have to provide gender confirmation surgery to transgender inmate Adree Edmo, aka Mason Edmo until it says otherwise. Oral argument is expected to be scheduled in May 2019.
• Order: Adree Edmo aka Mason Edmo v. Corizon Inc, et al., and Idaho Department of Corrections No. 19-35017, 19035019 PDF 289.38kb 20 MAR 19
Mormon church drops anti-LGBT policy from 2015, saying children of same-sex couples now can be baptized

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 04 April 2019, Dallin Oaks, a member of the church's First Presidency, reportedly announced at a conference in Salt Lake City that the Mormon church will no longer consider same-sex couples ''apostates'' and will allow their children to be baptized into the church without special approval from church leaders.

03 April 2019

Montana Human Rights Bureau sides with transgender Montanan in discrimination complaint

UNITED STATES, Montana: On 27 March 2019, the Montana Human Rights Bureau found that transgender woman Eleanor Maloney experienced unlawful discrimination during her time as an employee for Yellowstone County, being denied healthcare insurance cover for sex/gender reassignment surgical procedures.
• Recommendation: Eleanor Maloney v. Yellowstone County, Scott Twito, Yellowstone County Board of Commissioners Nos. 019002, 019003, 019004 PDF 5.29MB 27 MAR
Cayman Islands Government Appealing Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

CAYMAN ISLANDS: On 03 April 2019, Premier Alden McLaughlin reportedly told Parliament that the government has instructed Attorney General Samuel Bulgin to file an appeal with the Court of Appeal and seek a stay of execution of the same-sex marriage judgment pending the outcome of that appeal.

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