Tag Archives: law

How One Lesbian Couple Changed Angela Merkel’s Mind About Marriage Equality

So, what changed? Well, it turns out that Merkel’s views were changed the same way that so many people’s are — by meeting a same-sex couple and spending time with them and their family. At a recent event with women’s magazine Brigitte, Merkel said she had “a life-changing experience in my home constituency,” after being invited to have dinner with a lesbian couple and their eight foster children.

Continue reading at: Angela Merkel Same-Sex Marriage Equality Germany (Source)

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Judge to lesbian parents fighting for rights: ‘You can’t overcome biology’

A lesbian couple seeking parental rights had their case heard by a three judge panel for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, to determine whether or not Indiana‘s law disallowing them from both being named on their child’s birth certificate constitutes discrimination.

Continue reading at: Judge to lesbian parents fighting for rights: ‘You can’t overcome biology’ / LGBTQ Nation (Source)

Australia: Penny Wong says religion is blocking marriage equality

“At the centre of the opposition to equality of marriage rights for gay and lesbian members of the community is the conflation of religious concepts of marriage with secular concepts of marriage,” she said.

“Religious attitudes to marriage continue to impact on much of the political debate that has delayed the recognition of the marriage equality rights of the gay and lesbian community.”

“The problem with this, of course, is the application of religious belief to the framing of law in a secular society, and in societies where church and state are constitutionally separate.”

Continue reading at: Penny Wong says religion is blocking marriage equality – Star Observer (Source)

Uganda: Lesbian refugee shares her story 

Yudaya is a member of Out and Proud Africa which is an African Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex rights and human rights activist charity. Their mission is to defend human dignity, freedom, justice and equality for LGBTI people in Africa.

Continue watching at: WATCH: This refugee’s story will open your eyes to the fears LGBTIs face in Uganda (Source)

Arizona Supreme Court considers rights of lesbian parents

PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court will decide whether the same-sex spouse of a gay woman who has given birth is entitled to the same parental presumptions and rights as if she were a man.In a brief order, the justices said they want to review claims that state laws governing who is legally presumed to be the parent of a child apply only when that other person is male, arguments rejected by the state Court of Appeals.

Continue reading at: Supreme Court considers gay-rights case | News | paysonroundup.com (Source)

West Virginia county clerks sued for harassing and mistreating lesbian couple

Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the LGBTQ organization Fairness West Virginia have filed a lawsuit against Gilmer County (W.V.) officials on behalf of a same-sex couple who was harassed and mistreated by a county clerk who voiced her religious objections to issuing the two women a marriage license.High school sweethearts Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover went to the Gilmer County Clerk’s Office on Feb. 3, 2016, to obtain a marriage license. But Deputy Clerk Debbie Allen insulted and ranted at the couple, calling them an “abomination” to God.

Continue reading at: West Virginia county clerks sued for harassing and mistreating lesbian couple – Metro Weekly (Source)

Lesbian ex-administrator at U of Iowa begins trial claiming discrimination and bias

U of I

DES MOINES, Iowa — The former associate athletic director at the University of Iowa will square off against the school in a trial Monday that centers on her claim that she suffered discrimination as a gay female who fought bias in college sports.

Continue reading at: Ex-official’s trial to focus on bias claims against Iowa AD – StarTribune.com (Source)

Scottish man who threatened the lives of his lesbian niece and her girlfriend sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid work 

Pratt also sent the two women a message which included their home address, and another in which he said he couldn’t wait to “ruin” their Christmas.

He then began phoning the couple, leaving a number of voicemails, including one where he said “you’re dead”.

Continue reading at: Man threatened the lives of his lesbian niece and her girlfriend in homophobic attack · PinkNews (Source)

ACLU backs Georgia woman fired for being lesbian

The ACLU of Georgia argued that federal law protects LGBT people from workplace discrimination, weighing in on the case of a Georgia lesbian fired for being gay.

Continue reading at: ACLU backs Georgia woman fired for being gay — Project Q Atlanta (Source)

Lesbian Choices: An Indian Tragedy

A recent murder case in Gujarat India highlights the plight of lesbians who are trapped in abusive situations in countries with high rates of family imposed sex-based abuse and homophobia and where living independently as a woman and lesbian is difficult. Where there are few to no legal or social remedies to prevent violence against themselves and their loved ones, abused lesbians may have no meaningful choices other than to remain in danger or breach legal or social rules. All courses of action open to them will be harmful, and possibly dangerous. Retaliating to stop the violence may stop familial abuse but results in exposure to significant legal sanctions. The emotional and psychological toll of facing these choices and their consequences adds to the tragedy of women trapped in this way.

In early April 2017, the body of a man, Yunis Maniya, was found in Bharuch dictrict of Gujarat, India. A woman (Mayaben), reportedly the lesbian partner of the victim’s daughter (Jaheda), and an unrelated male (Jayendra) have been charged with the man’s murder. The motive for the murder is reported by the local police responsible for the investigation as the ending of sexuality-based domestic violence:

“The motive behind the murder was the victim’s opposition to the lesbian relationship. The accused was having an affair with the daughter of the deceased. He used to beat his daughter in a bid to discourage her from having a relationship with the accused. This incited the automobile broker who later hatched the plan to murder him,” said deputy SP of Bharuch N D Chauhan.

Information on this case is scarce in English and the articles do not appear sympathetic to the plight of the abused daughter or her partner accused of the murder. What isn’t clear, reading only the English articles, is what the options would be for women experiencing domestic violence on the basis of their sexuality in a country where sex-based violence against women alone is endemic, homophobia is widespread and women’s capacity to leave the family circle is limited.

While domestic violence is illegal in India, women and girls remain highly susceptible to abuse within the family. In 2016 it was reported that so-called honour killings had risen by 800% year on year, although it is unclear whether this represents an increase in the killings or an increase in reporting.

Lesbians are particularly vulnerable given the criminalisation of same sex activities under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, introduced in 1860 and only repealed in 2009. In 2016 the Indian Supreme Court committed to reviewing Section 377 after a 2013 decision had reinstated the law . Only months before, a 2 judge bench of the Supreme Court named homosexuality “a social evil for some” in a tax ruling on a Gujurati film on homosexuality. The Supreme Court action was reportedly the last chance for law reform, save only an appeal to the conservative politicians of India.

Although the legal sanctions are not directly applied, they remain a potent backdrop to social sanctions and persecution in a country where national surveys report a 75% disapproval rate of homosexuality and in which lesbians face a double oppression as both women and lesbians.

A brief reading of lesbian writings about their life in India demonstrates some of the risks lesbians face, both on the basis of their sex and their sexuality.

This Gujurati case represents the catch-22 lesbian around the world can face – how do lesbians being abused for their sexuality and relationships defend themselves in societies where violence against women is endemic and where homosexuality is punished? This is a no win situation for lesbians who are trapped in violent situations with few options for escape or defense, and where retaliatory violence exposes them to far greater legal sanctions.

When lesbians have no safe way to leave or stay, what meaningful choice remains?


We have tried to ensure information presented in this piece is accurate, however if you notice any inaccuracies or accidental misrepresentations, please email us with additional information at liz@listening2lesbians.com or lisa@listening2lesbians.com.

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The serendipitous path of Roberta Kaplan 

Roberta Kaplan was once described by Arianna Huffington during a live interview at Fortune as “a powerhouse corporate litigator.”In the corporate legal field, brilliant litigators are a dime a dozen. But what differentiated Kaplan was that she met Edie Windsor and the two teamed up in a David and Goliath kind of a legal case.With Windsor, Kaplan entered the history books in 2013 when the Supreme Court invalidated certain sections of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the case of United States v. Windsor. This case later led to the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges two years later that struck down all barriers to same-sex marriage across the US. For a lot of the LGBT people, it was serendipity: the fearlessness of Windsor partnered with the passion of Kaplan.Thanks to these two lesbians, America could now enjoy the rights of same-sex marriage.

Continue reading at: The serendipitous path of Roberta Kaplan | Lesbian News (Source)

Lesbian plaintiff in discrimination suit sticking to fight 

Kimberly Hively didn’t know whether to believe the good news from her lawyer that a federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that the Civil Rights Act prohibited workplace discrimination against LGBT employees.

Continue reading at: Lesbian plaintiff in discrimination suit sticking to fight – CNN.com (Source)