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January 2019

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31 January 2019

Transgender Macedonians Hail 'Turning Point' European Court Ruling

REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA: On 17 January 2019, the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, ruled 7-2 that Macedonia's requirement that people undergo gender reassignment surgery before their gender marker on ID documents can be changed is a violation of human rights by infringing their right to respect for their private life.
Judgment: Case of X v. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia No. 29683/16 HTML 17 JAN 19
Arkansas court rules city can’t enforce LGBT protections

UNITED STATES, Arkansas: On 31 January 2019, the State Supreme Court ruled the City of Fayetteville could not enforce the ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, finding the measure violates a state law aimed at preventing local protections for LGBT people.
• Opinion: Protect Fayetteville F/K/A/ Repeal 119, et al. v. The City of Fayetteville et al. No. CV-178-849 PDF 94.33kb 31 JAN 19

30 January 2019

Worker Dismissed from Municipality Due to Same-Sex Relationship Wins Court Case

TURKEY: On 30 January 2019, the Istanbul 34th Labor Court reportedly ruled that garbage truck driver R.S., who was dismissed from his job at Kagithane Municipality in Istanbul due to an alleged homosexual relationship shall be reinstated in his job.
Ban on transgender individuals serving in the military remains on hold due to Maryland judge

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 30 January 2019, the policy that bans most transgender individuals from serving in the military remains blocked because US District Judge Judge George L Russell III has so far failed to lift a lingering injunction that some parties involved in the case forgot even existed.
'Gay'-Counseling Ban Likely Violates 1st Amendment, Judge Rules

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 30 January 2019, US District Court Magistrate Judge Amanda Sansone ruled that Tampa Ordinance 2017-47 banning counseling against same-sex attractions mostly likely violates the First Amendment, giving Liberty Counsel (the faith community adhering to the biblical definitions for marriage and relationships that brought the case on behalf of New Hearts Outreach ministry), its first major victory since the Supreme Court handed down a precedent in last year's pregnancy-crisis-center case.
Report and Recommendation: Vazzo v. City of Tampa No. 8:17-cv-2896-T-02AAS PDF 294.93kb 30 JAN 19

29 January 2019

Judge denies transgender woman's attempt to have state agency hear police abuse claims

UNITED STATES, New York: On 28 January 2019, State Supreme Court Judge James P McClusky reportedly denied a transgender woman's attempt to have the state Division of Human Rights investigate her alleged treatment by police following her September 2017 arrest. LeTray alleged police made derogatory and harassing statements about her gender identity.

28 January 2019

HIV-positive status of 14,200 people leaked online

SINGAPORE: On 28 January 2019, the Ministry of Health reportedly said that the HIV-positive status of 14,200 people - along with confidential information such as their identification numbers and contact details - has been leaked online by an ''unauthorised person''. The information was allegedly leaked by and is still in the possession of Mikhy K Farrera Brochez, an HIV-positive American who lived in Singapore from 2008. He was convicted of numerous fraud and drug offences, as well as lying to the Ministry of Manpower about his HIV status, the health ministry said. Brochez was reportedly deported in April 2018.
German insurer must pay for transgender beard removal

GERMANY: On 28 January 2019, a German court reportedly ruled that a public health insurance company must pay for transsexual customers to have their beard hair removed, even if it is done by a beautician and not a doctor. The woman alleged her afternoon beard growth was causing her psychological distress.

25 January 2019

Supreme Court rules surgery to change legal sex identity is 'currently constitutional'

JAPAN: On 23 January 2019, the Supreme Court reportedly ruled 4-0 that a law effectively forcing people with gender identity disorder who want to officially register a change in their sex to undergo surgery is ''currently constitutional''. The case was brought by Takakito Usui, a 45-year-old from the village of Shinjo in Okayama Prefecture, who wished to register as a male without undergoing surgery.

23 January 2019

Washington DC is the first US territory to ban gay 'cure' therapy for adults

UNITED STATES, District of Columbia: On 16 January 2019, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed ACT 22-573 into law, extending the territory's protections against gay 'cure' therapy to people over the age of 18 who still have a legal guardian. In 2015, DC became just the third jurisdiction to ban the practice for children.

23 January 2019

Foster-care ruling: Victory for religious freedom or bias?

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 23 January 2019, the US Department and Health and Human Services reportedly granted Republican Governor Henry McMaster's request for a waiver to allow the state Department of Social Service to license faith-based child-placement agencies that will enable the agencies to discriminate against foster parent applicants because they are same-sex couples.
Angola Decriminalizes Same-Sex Conduct

ANGOLA: On 23 January 2019, the parliament reportedly adopted its first new penal code since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and removed the divisive ''vices against nature'' provision widely interpreted to be a ban on homosexual conduct. the government has also prohibited discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation in employment and provision of services, the penalty for which may be up to two years imprisonment.

22 January 2019

Supreme Court allows Trump's transgender troop ban as litigation continues

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 22 January 2019, the US Supreme Court set aside (5-4) nationwide orders from three federal judges and ruled the Defense Department could now enforce President Donald Trump's policy that effectively bans transgender people from serving in the military.
Order List: 586 U.S.: Orders in Pending Cases PDF 137.40kb 22 JAN 19

21 January 2019

Egypt TV host Mohamed al-Ghiety jailed for interviewing gay man

EGYPT: On 21January 2019, it was reported that Egyptian TV presenter Mohamed al-Ghiety sentenced to one year of hard labour and fined 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($167; £130) for ''promoting homosexuality'' by interviewing a gay man on his privately owned LTC TV channel.

18 January 2019

Controlling your partner's money to be recognised as domestic abuse for first time

UNITED KINGDOM: On 18 January 2019, it was reported that manipulating a partner's finances may be treated as a form of domestic abuse for the first time with a new Domestic Abuse Bill (2.25MB) that would officially recognise economic abuse, but experts say victims seeking justice will continue to be left vulnerable by the legal system.
Gay Austrian policeman wins long fight for justice

AUSTRIA: On 15 January 2019, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice ruled that Austria must compensate E.B., an ex-policeman who was sacked in 1976 for sexual indecency with minors and who lost 25% of his police pension. The Court said E.B. was owed his lost pension, going back to 03 December 2003 by reason of Article 2 of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.
• Judgment: E.B. and Insurance Company Public Employee BVA C 258/17 HTML 15 JAN 19

17 January 2019

Court rules anti-gay discrimination in housing case not sex discrimination

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 16 January 2019, the United States District Judge Jean C Hamilton dismissed the complaint of married couple Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance alleging Friendship Village discriminated against them on the basis of sex in violation of the Fair Housing Act and the Missouri Human Rights Act. The Court found that ''sexual orientation'' rather than ''sex'' lies at the heart of plaintiffs' claims and Title VII does not prohibit discrimination against homosexuals.
• Memorandum and Order: Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance v. Friendship Village of South County and Anor No. 4:18CV1222 JCH PDF 216.40kb 16 JAN 18

16 January 2019

Attorney General Racine Announces Cuba Libre Restaurant to Institute Company Policies to Protect Transgender Residents from Discrimination

UNITED STATES, District of Columbia: On 16 January 2019, Attorney General Karl A Racine announced a settlement with Cuba Libre Rum Bar and Restaurant for discriminating against a transgender District resident and ordering Cuba Libre to pay the District $7,000 in penalties and legal costs. Downtown restaurant Cuba Libre made headlines in 2018 when an employee attempted to prevent a transgender District resident from using a bathroom that corresponds to her gender identity. AG Racine also introduced legislation to clarify the Office of the Attorney General's (OAG) ability to protect District residents from discrimination.
Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (draft): In the Matter of Cuba Libre DC, LLC PDF 269.09kb 15 JAN 19

15 January 2019

Kansas Governor Kelly reinstates ban on anti-LGBT bias, expands to state contractors

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 15 January 2019, Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 19-02, reinstating a ban on anti-LGBT bias in state agencies' employment decisions that a Republican predecessor had repealed, and she also expanded the policy to cover government contractors.
Assembly to Pass GENDA and Legislation to Ban Conversion Therapy

UNITED STATES, New York: On 15 January 2019, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced that the Assembly will pass bill A.747, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) to protect transgender and non-gender conforming New Yorkers from discrimination, as well as Bill A.576 to ban mental health professionals from using the practice of conversion therapy on patients under the age of 18. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign both Bills.

11 January 2019

Lithuania's top court rejects anti-gay discrimination

LITHUANIA: On 11 January 2019, the Constitutional Court reportedly condemned the routine denial of residency permits for the spouses of gay citizens who married abroad, ruling that the state must grant residence permits to foreign spouses of gay citizens even though same-sex unions are not recognised by law.

10 January 2019

Mexican Supreme Court ruling allows same sex couples to receive widow pension

MEXICO: On 09 January 2019, the Second Supreme Court Chamber of Justice ruled in favour of same-sex couples receiving a widow's pension should their partner die, finding Article 130 of the Social Security Law unconstitutional being in violation of Articles 1, 4, 123, Section A, Section XXIX of the Federal Constitution.

07 January 2019

Whitmer Bars LGBT Discrimination, Nixes Religious Exemption

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 07 January 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a new Executive Directive 2019-09 to prohibit LGBT-based discrimination in state services or by state contractors, replacing a narrower order that her Republican predecessor issued days before he left office. The exemption for religious employers doing business with the state to discriminate, including adoption and foster care agencies offering non-ministerial services has been removed.
Press watchdog rules against ‘misleading’ Sunday Times trans coverage

UNITED KINGDOM: On 18 December 2018, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has upheld the complaint of Amelia Bee ruling against a ''misleading'' article by The Sunday Times that suggested trans people were not free to use public toilets aligned with their gender identity whereas their right to do so was protected under the Equality Act.
Decision: Bee v. The Sunday Times No. 04770-18 HTML 11 DEC 18
Federal judge denies state’s request to dismiss second Masterpiece Cakeshop lawsuit

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 04 January 2019, US District Court Senior Judge Wiley Y Daniel denied a request by state attorneys to dismiss the second lawsuit filed against them by the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop alleging the state's Civil Rights Commission is harassing the Lakewood man, but found Governor John Hickenlooper not a proper defendant and should be dismissed from the suit. Phillips allegedly refused to make a cake, designed pink on the inside and blue on the outside, for a transgender woman celebrating an anniversary of her transition because of his Christian religious beliefs. Daniel ruled, that the commissioners are immune from liability, and taxpayers who would be forced to pay any damages.
• Order: Masterpiece Cakeship Incorporated and Jack Phillips v. Aubrey Elenis, et al. No. 18-cv-02074-WYD-STV PDF 156.13kb 04 JAN 19

04 January 2019

California law prohibits biological mother to be added to baby’s birth certificate

UNITED STATES, California: On 04 January 2019, it was reported that unmarried partners Chrissy LaBrecque and her longtime partner Andrea Roehl found that current California law does not allow same sex couples to be recorded on birth certificates for only one reason: They are not married or registered as domestic partners. Son Camden was born through reciprocal in-vitro fertilization (IVF), an arduous and expensive procedure. LaBrecque is the biological mother, and Roehl carried Camden and gave birth to him. As the remediating ''Parent and child relationship'' act (AB2684 approved by the Governor 28 September 2018) does not come into effect until 01 January 2020, they must apply to the Court for a ruling as to their paternity.
Three ‘creationists’ fined for distributing anti-gay leaflet

NETHERLANDS: On 04 January 2019, the Court of Amsterdam found Salahattim Y (31), Cengis E (31) from The Hague and Erdal A (41) from Rotterdam guilty of insult and inciting discrimination for distributing hundreds of anti-gay leaflets in the west of Amsterdam in October 2016. The Court fined each of the defendants € 500 (five hundred euros), in the absence of payment and redress, a 10-day detention.
• Judgment (in Dutch): Names redacted No. 13 / 659332-16 PDF 117.97kb 04 JAN 19
Trans Military Ban Still Blocked Despite New Decision Dissolving One of Four Nationwide Preliminary Injunctions

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 04 January 2019, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the government motion to dissolve and vacate the District Court preliminary injunction preventing the Trump administration from enforcing its ban on military service by transgender people in Doe v. Trump. The Court noted ''today's decision is not a final determination on the merits'' and three nationwide preliminary injunctions halting the ban remain in effect blocking the ban while the cases proceed in the federal district courts.
Judgment: Jane Doe 2, et al. v. Patrick M Shanahan, et al. No. 18-5257 PDF 203.89kn 04 JAN 18

03 January 2019

Two gay men mount first legal challenges to Hong Kong laws banning same-sex marriage, with court giving their applications green light to proceed

HONK KONG: On 03 January 2019, Mr Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming granted leave for judicial review of three cases raising the issue of marriage, or similar or equivalent, rights of homosexuals in Hong Kong. The case of MK will be heard first and the cases TF and STK are stayed pending the outcome of the first case.
Decision: MK v. Government of HKSAR, TF v. Secretary of Justice, STK and Secretary of Justice HCAL 1077/2018, HCAL 2648/2018. HCAL 2682/2018 PDF 163.93kb 03 JAN 19
Delhi HC allows 2 women to move in together: Cannot impose fetters on her rights

INDIA, Delhi: On 15 November 2018, Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal in the Delhi High Court ruled that ''there can be no fetters imposed on the right of an adult woman to reside with whosoever she desires, while allowing estranged married woman Ms Princy Verma to live with Mann @ Manjusha Yadav, a 36-year-old woman she wants to be in a relationship with.
Judgment: Mann @ Manjusha Yadav v. State & Ors W.P.(CRL)-3451/2018 PDF 64.82kb 15 NOV 18

02 January 2019

Christian magistrate can appeal dismissal for gay adoption comments as judge says 'intolerant views' must be respected

UNITED KINGDOM: In December 2018, Her Honour Judge Katherine Tucker in the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the application of Mr Richard Page against his dismissal for ''serious misconduct'' in March 2016 for comments he made about gay adoption suggesting he was ''biased and prejudiced against single-sex adopters''. Judge Tucker allowed the appeal to proceed, ruling that judges can hold ''intolerant views'' that should be respected.

01 January 2019

Germany adopts intersex identity into law

GERMANY: On 01 January 2019, it was reported that intersex people can now legally identify themselves as such under a new law adopted on 22 December 2018. People who do not fit the biological definition of male or female can now choose the category ''diverse'' on official documents. Those choosing the option will need a doctor's certificate to register.

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