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February 2019

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28 February 2019

Transgender teen can proceed with hormone treatment despite father's objections, B.C. court rules

CANADA, British Columbia: On 27 February 2019, Mr. Justice Bowden in the Supreme Court ruled 14-year-old transgender boy A.B. has the capacity to consent to his own medical treatments and should be allowed to proceed with hormone injections to help transition from a female to a male body without delay, despite the objection of his father.
Reasons for Judgment: A.B. v. C.D. and E.F. 2019 BCSC 254 PDF 276.66kb 27 FEB
'Nothing in the curriculum prohibits a teacher from teaching any of the topics in question': court ruling

CANADA, Ontario: On 28 February 2019, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court dismissed a challenge from elementary teachers and a civil liberties group over the Progressive Conservative government's repeal of a modernized sex-ed curriculum. The EFTO argued that changes made by the government infringed teachers' freedom of expression and put students at risk by failing to be inclusive. The Court said that it is the role of elected officials, not the courts, to make legislation and policy decisions.
• Reasons for Decision: EFTO et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen 2019 ONSC 1403 PDF 415.84kb 28 FEB 19

27 February 2019

Methodist Church votes to ban gay clergy and same sex marriage, evoking debate among members

UNITED STATES, International: On 26 February 2019, the United Methodist Church worldwide conference reportedly made a decision that pleased traditionalists, but raised doubts about the church's modern motto: open hearts, open minds, open doors. Church officials and lay members voted (438-384) to place a ban on gay and lesbian clerics and the officiating of same-sex marriages.

26 February 2019

Gay Couple Wins Case Against Jerusalem Pizzeria

ISRAEL: On 26 February 2019, it was reported that Ben Yehuda Pizza has been ordered to pay 16,000 NIS ($4,400) to American rabbinical student Sammy Kanter for refusing to serve him last summer.
Missouri Supreme Court: Transgender student barred from restroom can sue for sex discrimination

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 26 February 2019, the State Supreme Court ruled (5-2) that transgender male student R.M.A., who was barred from the boys' restroom and locker room has the right to sue the the Blue Springs school district for sex discrimination, finding transgender people are protected from discrimination under the Missouri Human Rights Act.
Memorandum and Order: R.M.A. v. Blue Springs R-IV School District and Anor No. SC96683 PDF 216.40kb 26 FEB
European Parliament passes historic intersex rights resolution

EUROPEAN UNION: On 14 February 2019, the European Parliament adopted resolution (B8-0101/2019 PDF 155.96kb) on the rights of intersex people. It stipulated that European Union member states should legislate better policies that protected intersex individuals, especially from unnecessary surgery and discrimination.

22 February 2019

British parliamentary committee calls for overseas territories to legitimise same sex marriages

UNITED KINGDOM: On 21 February 2019, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee published its 44-page report titled ''Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the Relationship'' PDF 529.80kb, calling for all British Overseas Territories (OT), including those in the Caribbean, to legitimise same sex marriages.
Judge grants special citizenship right to son of homosexuals

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 21 February 2019, US District Judge John F Walter ruled that 2-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks twin son of homosexual married couple Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks has been an American citizen since birth, handing a defeat to the US government, which had only granted the status to his brother Aiden. The government had only granted citizenship to Aiden, who DNA tests showed was the biological son of Andrew, a US citizen. Ethan was conceived from the sperm of Elad Dvash-Banks, an Israeli citizen. Both children were born by the same surrogate mother minutes apart.
• Civil Minutes - General: Dvash-Banks v. Pompeo CV 18-523-JFW(JCx) PDF 174.67kb 21 FEB 19

21 February 2019

Court Denies Stay; State Department Must Issue Accurate Passport to Nonbinary Intersex Citizen

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 21 February 2019, US District Judge R Brooke Jackson denied a US State Department request to stay his September, 2018 order which prohibited the agency from relying upon its binary-only gender marker policy to withhold an accurate passport from Lambda Legal client Dana Zzyym, a US Navy veteran who is intersex and nonbinary, and does not identify as male or female.
• Order on Motion to Stay Judgment: Dana Alix Zzyym v. Michael R Pompeo and Anor No. 15-cv-02362-RBJ PDF 62.56kb 21 FEB 19
Taiwan unveils Asia's first draft law on same-sex marriage

TAIWAN: On 21 February 2019, the Taiwanese cabinet reportedly unveiled the proposed draft law (The Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748) that would give same-sex couples similar legal protections of marriage as heterosexuals, but marriage in civil law would remain defined as between a man and woman.
South Dakota high court rules against woman in same-sex benefits case

UNITED STATES, South Dakota: On 19 February 2019, the State Supreme Court ruled 3-0 (2 disqualified) against retired police official Debra Lee Anderson seeking state retirement system survivor benefits after her wife Deborah Cady, a former police captain who died of cancer, because they were not married before Cady retired in 2012 and State Consolidated Law 3-12-94 only allows for a state employee's survivor benefits to go to a surviving spouse.
Opinion: Debra Lee Anderson v. South Dakota Retirement System No. 2019 S.D. 11 PDF 118.80kb 20 FEB 19
CBSE, Delhi University Told To Help Transgender Seek Name, Gender Change

INDIA, Delhi: On 20 February 2019, Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao in the Delhi High Court directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Delhi University to work out a way to help a transgender who is seeking change of name and gender, from male to female, in education records, saying that when the Supreme Court has recognised their right to declare their gender identity, statutory bodies like the education board and the varsity ''ave to rise to the occasion to help her''.

19 February 2019

Murphy signs bill expanding family leave in New Jersey

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 19 February 2019, Governor Phil Murphy reportedly signed Bill A-3975 doubling paid family leave from six to twelve weeks and expanding the definition of family under the new law from spouses, children, parents, parents-in-law and domestic partners to also include grandparents and grandchildren. The measure also increases the amount of the benefit from two-thirds of pay to 85 percent of pay, though it caps the amount. The most recent estimates show the benefit would go to $859 per week, up from $632.

18 February 2019

On Supreme Court's Direction, Gujarat Govt Forms Transgender Welfare Board

INDIA, Gujarat: On 18 February 2019, the Gujarat government 'Transgender Welfare Board' was reported to have been constituted by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment to provide social security to the community.
Virginia Senate passes bill to extend option of surrogacy to same-sex couples

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 22 February 2019, the legislature passed bill HB 1979ER (Senate 28-12, House 63-36) enabling single individuals and same-sex couples to have the opportunity to give birth by surrogacy.
• Bill HB1979ER: Assisted Conception PDF 120.55kb 20 FEB 18

15 February 2019

Court Orders Trump Administration to Halt the Discharge of HIV-Positive Airmen

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 15 February 2019, US District Judge Leonie M Brinkema granted in part a preliminary injunction and ordered the US Department of Defense and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to halt discharge proceedings against HIV-positive members of the U.S. Air Force.
Memorandum Opinion Richard Roe, et al., v. Patrick M Shanahan, et al. No. 1:18-cv-1565 (LMB/IDD) PDF 2.72MB 15 FEB

14 February 2019

After landmark decision, ABA issues guidance for judges performing same-sex marriages

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 14 February 2019, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released Formal Opinion 485 giving judges guidance related to their options for performing same-sex marriages under the Model Code of Judicial Conduct.
Opinion: Formal Opinion 485 PDF 226.17kb 14 FEB
AG: Sentencing law applies to transgender hate crimes

UNITED STATES, Tennessee: On 08 February 2019, State Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued the opinion concluding that ''For the purposes of the hate-crime enhancement (Tennessee Code Annotated § 40-35-114) , a crime committed against a person because that person manifests a gender that is different than his or her biological gender at birth - i.e. a crime committed against a person because he or she is transgender - is thus necessarily committed because of, at least in part, the person's gender''.
• Opinion: Sentence Enhancement for Hate Crimes Against Transgender Individuals PDF 75.00kb 08 FEB 19

13 February 2019

Jury sides with transgender employee in 'historic' Iowa case

UNITED STATES, Iowa: On 13 February 2019, an Iowa District Court jury decided that Iowa prison warden Patti Wachtendorf discriminated against transgender employee Jesse Vroegh by denying him the use of men's restrooms and locker rooms.
Laws changed to allow WA's transgender people to change birth certificate without divorcing

AUSTRALIA, Western Australia: On 12 February 2019, the Legislative Council passed the ''Gender Reassignment Amendment Bill 2018'' that deletes Section 15 (3) of the Gender Reassignment Act 2000 stipulating that ''A recognition certificate cannot be issued to a person who is married'', enabling transgender people to update their birth certificate without having to divorce their spouse. On 19 February 2019, the Act received Royal Assent.

12 February 2019

Tunisia rape victim jailed for homosexuality

TUNISIA: On 12 February 2019, it was reported that a 22-year old man identified only as Anas reported his being raped and assaulted by two thieves to the police in Sfax on 2 January. Following initial questioning he was subjected to a controversial enforced anal examination, the results of which was negative, charged with homosexual conduct and remanded in custody until his trial. On 11 February 2019, the men accused of attacking Anas reportedly received sentences of six months for homosexuality, with a further two months for physical assault and theft.
Arguments Conclude in Landmark Same-Sex Marriage Case

CAYMAN ISLANDS: On 11 February 2019, after three days of argument, the Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden Bush same-sex marriage case concluded. Chief Justice Hon. Anthony Smellie is expected to rule in a few weeks.

09 February 2019

Firm told to pay gay man €2,500 over refusal to print civil ceremony invites

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 09 February 2019, Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer Orla Jones reportedly found Beulah Print and Design discriminated against Jonathon Brennan under Section 3 of the Equal Status Act over its refusal to print invitations for Brennan and his long term partner's civil partnership ceremony, ordering the company to pay him €2,500.

08 February 2019

Judge Sides With University Group Banning Gay Student From Leadership

UNITED STATES, Iowa: On 06 February 2019, US District Judge Stephanie M Rose ruled that Christian club Business Leaders in Christ is within its rights to deny leadership positions to LGBTQ students. The club previously barred a student from holding a leadership position in the group after they found out he was gay
• Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment: Business Leaders in Christ v. The University of Iowa, et al. No. 3:17-cv-00080-SMR-SBJ PDF 344.60kb 06 FEB 19

06 February 2019

5th Circuit rejects Title VII coverage for transgender workers

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 06 February 2019, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled 3-0 in Nicole C Wittmer v. Phillips66 Company that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banning workplace sex discrimination does not cover bias based on gender identity
• Opinion: Nicole C Wittmer v. Phillips66 Company No. 18-20251 PDF 176.48kb 06 FEB 19
Court Rejects Out-of-Court Settlement for Gay Case Involving 3 ACK Pastors

KENYA: On 06 February 2019, Justice Abigail Mshila rejected the agreement purportedly settling the case of Rev. Paul Warui, the Rev. James Maina and Archdeacon John Gachau, the Anglican clergymen accused of homosexuality, saying ''For the mediation agreement to be binding, the two respondents, Bishop Kagunda and the registered trustees of the Anglican Church of Kenya, must sign in person''. The court does not know Venerable Canon Gerald Muriithi and Venerable Samuel Waweru, the two people who signed the agreement and the mediation agreement is also not dated.

01 February 2019

New Jersey becomes second state to require schools to teach LGBT and disability-inclusive material

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 31 January 2019, Governor Phil Murphy reportedly signed Assembly Bill A1335 (Senate Bill S1569) into law. The Bill, modeled after a similar law that passed in California in 2011, requires public schools boards of education to adopt instruction that accurately portrays ''the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, where appropriate''. The law does not apply to private schools.
Hong Kong court denies male status to 3 transgender men

HONG KONG: On 01 February 2019, Judge Thomas Au in the High Court denied applications for judicial review of three F2M transgender persons seeking to change the gender entry stated in their identity cards from female to male, saying (at para 22) that ''the change of gender entry stated in the ID card does not only concern the private right of the transgender person but also the wider public interest''.
Judgment: Q, R and Tse Henry Edward v. Commisioner of Registration No. 229 of 2015 HTML 01 FEB 19

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