March 2019

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19 March 2019

Canada's military issues new policies to welcome transgender troops as Trump insists on ban

CANADA, Federal: On 19 March 2019, it was reported that the Canadian Armed Forces had issued new directives giving guidelines on medical and surgical supports for transgender troops, uniform and naming protocols, and accommodations for bathrooms, showers and other private areas, ordering commanding officers to end discrimination, foster respect and inclusion.
U.S. judge rebuts Trump on transgender troop limits

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 19 March 2019, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a three-page notice saying an injunction that she issued against the policy in 2017 remains in place. A three-judge panel of the District of Columbia US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia set aside the injunction on 04 January however, the Court ordered the Clerk of the Court ''to withhold issuance of the mandate herein until seven days after resolution of any timely petition for rehearing or petition for rehearing en banc'' and extended the time for filing any petition for rehearing or petition for rehearing en banc be extended to 21 days after the issuance of the court’s forthcoming separate opinions (filed 08 March). Accordingly, Plaintiffs have until 29 March 2019 to file for rehearing or rehearing en banc and the injunction remains in place.
Notice: Jane Doe 2 et al., v. Donald J Trump, et al. No. 17-cv-1597 (CKK) PDF 83.73kb 19 MAR 19

18 March 2019

U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal from Hawaii B&B owner who turned away lesbian couple

UNITED STATES, Hawaii: On 18 March 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected (petition for a write of certiorari denied) an appeal from Phyllis Young, the owner of the Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu, who refused to rent a room lesbian couple Taeko ''Ty'' Bufford and Diane Cervelli because of her religious beliefs opposing homosexuality. The Hawaii Supreme Court ruling upheld lower court rulings that Young discriminated against the couple and therefore stands.
• Order List: 586 U.S.: Aloha Bed & Breakfast v. Cerelli, Diane, et al. No. 18-451 PDF 172.69kb 18 MAR 19 at page 13

16 March 2019

New parental leave policy starts Sunday

CANADA, Federal: On 16 March 2019, it was reported that the federal government's new parental sharing program goes into effect Sunday. The program is available to opposite-sex, same-sex and adoptive parents whose children were born or placed for adoption after March 17. The only stipulation is that couples must agree to share their Employment Insurance parental benefits.

15 March 2019

Alimony awarded to lesbian

ITALY, Pordenone: On 15 March 2019, it was reported that a Pordenone court awarded a regular 'divorce cheque' to ''the weaker'' one of two women whose relationship began in 2013 and who got a civil union two years ago under Italy's new law. The better-off woman will pay 350 euros a month to to the worse-off one.
Austrian Evangelical Church votes to publicly ‘bless’ homosexual unions

AUSTRIA: On 09 March 2019, the General Synod of the Austrian Evangelical Church (Lutheran) voted 45-18 to allow homosexual couples to receive a church blessing during a public ceremony of worship.

13 March 2019

Massachusetts House approves gay conversion therapy ban

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 13 March 2019, the House was reported to have approved 147-8 legislation (H140) that would ban so-called gay conversion therapy for minors. The Bill now heads to the Senate.
Germany extends compensation for investigations of gay men

GERMANY: On 13 March 2019, it was reported that Justice Ministry issued a directive effective Wednesday under which people who were put under investigation or taken into investigative custody, but not convicted, can claim compensation payments of 500 euros per investigation opened, and 1,500 euros for each year of time in pre-trial custody started.

12 March 2019

St. Joseph approves LGBT non-discrimination ordinance

UNITED STATES, Michigan: On 11 March 2019, the St. Joseph Commissioners reportedly vote 4-0 to enact an ordinance protecting LGBT residents from discrimination. The ordinance takes effect in 10 days.
Discrimination law widened to include intersex and transgender people

NETHERLANDS: On 12 March 2019, it was reported that the Senate voted in favour of amending current anti-discrimination laws to outlaw gender identity discrimination alongside sex, religion, political beliefs, race, nationality, sexual orientation and marital status. The lower house of parliament voted in favour of the measure in July 2018.
DOD unveils plan to initiate Trump transgender policy on April 12

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 12 March 2019, David L Norquist, performing the duties of deputy secretary of defense, issued a memorandum that spells out the timeline, procedures and potential exemptions for implementing the plan ordered by Trump and created by former Defense Secretary James Mattis, with ewffect from 12 April. The memo asserts the policy is not a ban because it allows transgender people to enlist, provided they have no diagnosis of gender dysphoria and are willing to serve in their biological sex.
Memorandum: Military Service by Transgender Persons and Persons with Gender Dysphoria PDF 3.11MB 12 MAR 19

11 March 2019

Judge dismisses doctor's appeal over lying to authorities about partner's HIV-positive status

SINGAPORE: On 11 March 2019, High Court Justice Chua Lee Ming dismissed the appeal of Ler Teck Siang, a doctor at the heart of the data leak of 14,200 HIV-positive people in Singapore (report). Ler Teck Siang had appealed against his conviction and two-year jail sentence for abetting his partner Mikhy Farrera Brochez to cheat the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) about Brochez's HIV-positive status, and for giving false information to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the police.

08 March 2019

Pentagon tells currently serving transgender troops they can stay

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 08 March 2019, in the wake of the latest federal court ruling allowing the implementation of the Trump administration's ban on transgender troops, the Pentagon reportedly says currently serving transgender troops can stay while the legal battles continue.
Landmark Win for Transgender Iowans Today

UNITED STATES, Iowa: On 08 March 2019, the Supreme Court of Iowa ruled Iowa Medicaid denying gender-affirming, medically necessary surgery to someone simply because they are transgender is discriminatory and in violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
Opinion: Eerieanna Good and Carol Beal v. Iowa Department of Human Services No. 18-1158 PDF 140.67kb 08 MAR 19
Dutch Reformed Church's decision not to recognise same-sex unions overturned

SOUTH AFRICA: On 06 March 2019, the full bench of the North Gauteng High Court, lead by Judge Joseph Raulinga, reportedly set aside the Dutch Reformed Church's decision not to recognise gay marriages. The practical effect of the order is that the Dutch Reformed Church will be able to conduct same-sex marriages once they have obtained a licence from Home Affairs in this regard. The judgment also enables gay or lesbian members who are in a same-sex relationship to become ministers of the church.
• Judgment: Guam and Others v. Van Rensburg NO and Others [2019] ZAGPPHC 52 PDF 575.65kb 08 MAR 19

07 March 2019

Utah Legislature Passes Bill to Legalize Sex Outside of Marriage

UNITED STATES, Utah: On 06 March 2019, the State legislature passed Senate Bill 43 (41-32 vote in the House). The Bill in part decriminalizes fornication outside of marriage and now goes to the Governor.
ACLU Comment on Federal Court Decision in Trans Military Ban Case

UNITED STATES, Federal: On 07 March 2019, US District Judge George L Russell, III ruled in ''Stone v. Trump'' that the Trump administration's ban on transgender service members could move forward while courts review the issue.
Order: Brock Stone, et al., v. Donald J Trump, et al No. GLR-17-2459 PDF 89.55kb 07 MAR 19

05 March 2019

Ohio appeals court rules in favor of transgender teen trying to legally change name

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 04 March 2019, Court of Appeals Judge M Powell reversed a Warren County Judge Joseph Kirby's decision in the case of a transgender teen who wanted to change his name finding he abused his discretion when he denied the request, saying the original decision discounts the parents' wishes and medical evidence.
Opinion: In re H.C.W. No. CA2018-07-069 PDF 80.12kb 04 MAR 19
Colorado drops transgender cake case against Christian baker Jack Phillips

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 05 March 2019, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission reportedly dropped its latest case against Christian cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado. Phillips agreed in exchange to drop his lawsuit against the state, which he filed last year after the commission took action against him for declining to make a blue-and-pink cake to celebrate a transgender transition.

04 March 2019

Will fewer college students report sexual assault after this California court ruling?

UNITED STATES, California: On 04 January 2019, Judge Thomas L. Willhite in the 2nd Appellate District Court of Appeal held that when a student accused of sexual misconduct (alleged nonconsensual sex with another USC student) is facing severe disciplinary sanctions, like expulsion or suspension ­ and the credibility of witnesses is central ­ a fair process must include a live hearing where parties may cross-examine each other.
• Opinion: John Doe v. Kegan Allee, et al No. B283486 PDF 260.91 kb 04 JAN 19
Judge: Idaho can’t delay transgender inmate’s surgery

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 04 March 2019, US District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that Idaho Department of Correction officials cannot delay gender confirmation surgery for transgender inmate Adree Edmo while they appeal the court ruling requiring them to provide the surgery by 13 June.

03 March 2019

Britain's first transgender hate crime trial is halted after one day as judge says 'there is no case and never was a case'

UNITED KINGDOM, England and Wales: On 01 March 2019, Britain's first transgender hate crime prosecution was reportedly halted by District Judge John Woollard in the Basildon Magistrates' Court in Essex. Judge Woollard dismissed the case declaring 'There is no case and never was a case'. Miranda Yardley, 51, was accused of harassing transgender activist Helen Islan.

01 March 2019

South Korea rights body claims it does not 'deny' same-sex marriage

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: On 27 February 2019, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea reportedly claimed it did not 'deny' the rights of a same-sex couple to marry however it rejected a petition filed by a British and South Korean gay couple who got married overseas and asked for their marriage to be recognized.

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