LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Department of Justice

September 22, 2014

The country's new penal code abolishes the death penalty but punishes gay sex with up to 20 years in jail

The Chadian cabinet has adopted a new penal code that punishes gay sex with up to 20 years in prison.

Section 361 of the code states that the punishment for anyone who has sexual intercourse with persons of the same sex is 15 to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 ($98) to 500,000 francs ($980), according to an official document obtained by AFP.

The draft text, which still has to be approved by parliament, was adopted on 4 September by the Council of State.

The old penal code did not explicitly mention homosexuality.

July 13, 2014

'I think a lot of these measures that ultimately will come before the court will not survive a heightened scrutiny examination'

If a US state's gay marriage ban is argued in front of the Supreme Court, Attorney General Eric Holder promises the Department of Justice will file a friend of the court brief asking for the prohibition to be removed.

Holder was a guest today, 13 July,  on the ABC News show This Week.

February 10, 2014

Pending a public vote in 2015 to allow same-sex marriages in Ireland, those who travel abroad to get married will have their status recognized in their home country

Same-sex couples who travel from Ireland to marry in the England, Wales and Scotland will have their status recognized pending a public vote next year.

A Department of Justice spokesman has confirmed that once a referendum allowing same-sex marriage in Ireland is passed, all foreign unions will be recognized.

January 10, 2014

Announcement comes after state's governor put status of couples 'on hold' pending appeal of marriage ban ruling

US Attorney General Eric Holder had some good news for the more than 1,000 same-sex couples in Utah who got married in recent weeks: their marriages are considered legal by the federal government.

Holder delivered the news via video message on Friday (10 January) a few days after Utah Governor Gary Herbert essentially said the marriages were not legally valid and would not be recognized by the state.

July 20, 2013

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms violated federal laws for rejecting a potential employee because she was transgender

A transgender woman has won a landmark discrimination case against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

Mia Macy, who claimed to have been rejected from a potential job opportunity with the ATF after she revealed she was transgender, will now be receiving a renewed job offer and additional compensation.

The Department of Justice ruled that ATF broke anti-discrimination laws when it refused to hire the police detective after she told them she was transgender.

July 12, 2013

US Justice Department trying to decide new rules for a post-Defense of Marriage Act world

US President Barack Obama's White House released a statement today (12 July) announcing it instructed the Justice Department to review the recent Defense of Marriage Act decision and its impact on federal policies.

March 15, 2013

US Solicitor General to speak during oral arguments in Prop 8 case

The US government has been granted face time before the Supreme Court later this month during oral arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8.

The Department of Justice had asked to participate in the arguments scheduled for 26 March and the court granted the request today.

The order states: 'The motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument is granted.'

Proposition 8 is a referendum approved by California voters in 2008 banning gay marriage.

March 1, 2013

'I didn’t feel like that was something this administration could avoid'

President Barack Obama said today that getting involved in the Proposition 8 case to be heard by the US Supreme Court this month was not something his administration 'could avoid.'

Obama met with reporters a day after his Justice Department filed a 'friend of the court brief' in the case which challenges the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a referendum approved by voters in 2008 banning gay marriage.

February 28, 2013

US Justice Department to submit brief in Prop 8 case today

President Barack Obama will ask the US Supreme Court to allow gay marriages to resume in California in a brief to be filed by his Justice Department today - the filing deadline.

There had been mounting pressure on Obama to file a brief in the case which challenges the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a referendum approved by voters in 2008 banning gay marriage.

In recent days, nearly 100 US corporations including Nike, Apple and Facebook have filed briefs as have a dozen US states and more than 100 political and social conservatives.

February 27, 2013

California's Mark Takano asks for Justice Department to file brief as they did in DOMA case

Openly gay congressman Mark Takano has only been in office for less than two months but he's already showing that he's not afraid to speak up when it comes to LGBT equality.

The freshman from California is asking President Barack Obama to get involved in the upcoming Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 which bans gay marriage in Takano's state.

February 16, 2013

International LGBT group Football v. Homophobia has started a new campaign against gender-based violence in South Africa

Football v. Homophobia, an LGBT advocacy group, is raising awareness of hate crimes in sports with a new campaign.

As part of the One Billion Rising movement, an initiative to stop violence against women, Football v. Homophobia has started a new campaign demanding the South African government recognize homophobic rape as a hate crime punishable by law.

February 8, 2013

Todd Hughes would make history if approved by the US Senate

President Barack Obama has nominated Todd Hughes, an attorney with the Justice Department, to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

If approved by the Senate, Hughes would be the first openly gay justice to sit on the federal appeals court bench.

But Obama, quickly becoming the most pro-gay president in US history, has been down this road before.

January 16, 2013

Republicans defending anti-gay law in court, Democrats oppose sinking any more money into the case

The Republican leadership in the US House of Representives have agreed to spend up to $3 million - double what was originally allotted - to continue defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

The 1996 law that keeps the US government from recognizing same-sex marriages will be reviewed by the US Supreme Court later this year. President Barack Obama asked the Justice Department not to defend the constitutionality of the law in courts so the Republicans stepped in and hired a private law firm to handle the appeal.

December 14, 2012

Democrats livid over 'wasting taxpayer dollars to defend the indefensible'

The Republican leadership of the US House of Representatives, currently locked in a major budget war with President Barack Obama, has quietly raised the limit it had set for itself to defend the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in court to $2 million.

The 1996 law that keeps the US government from recognizing same-sex marriages will be reviewed by the US Supreme Court next year. Obama asked the Justice Department not to defend the constitutionality of the law in courts last year so the Republicans stepped in and hired a private law firm to handle the appeal.

December 8, 2012

New challenges face President Obama now that the Supreme Court is looking at gay marriage

October 18, 2012

Comes after appellate court in Boston had similar ruling

A federal appeals court in Manhattan on Thursday (18 October) ruled 2-1 that the US Defense of Marriage Act, defines marriage as between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.

A federal appeals court in Boston also found DOMA unconstitutional earlier this year and the issue is expected to be taken up by the US Supreme Court during its current term.

The New York case was filed by Edith Windsor who sued because she was required to pay a $350,000 federal estate tax bill. The government does not recognize her marriage to her late wife Thea Spyer.

October 17, 2012

Supreme Court may hear a case before end of current term

After US President Barack Obama asked the Justice Department not to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in courts last year, the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives stepped in.

It's a political decision that has come with a hefty price tag.

September 30, 2012

The Brazilian state of São Paulo organized a collective ‘gay partnership day’ in which 46 couples collectively registered their relationship as a civil union

The Brazilian state of São Paulo organized a collective ‘gay partnership day’ in which 46 couples had their relationship registered as a civil union, followed by a religious blessing and an all night party.

The event was a partnership between the government of the state of São Paulo, its department of justice and the leisure centre of northeastern traditions (CTN) in the city of São Paulo.

September 14, 2012

School in US chocolate town of Hershey pay damages to 14-year-old with HIV who they said was ‘direct threat’ to other students

A school in Pennsylvania has paid $700,000 (€) in damages after they refused admission to a 14-year-old boy because he is HIV-positive.

A federal lawsuit alleged Milton Hershey School, Hershey, had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it denied admission to the student in last year.

August 4, 2012

While the rest of the US fight over Chick-fil-A, Obama and Romney stay on the sidelines

While the US is divided over a fast food chain, President Barack Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney, have kept away from the culture war skirmish.

With politicians and talking shows hyperventilating over Chick-fil-A, neither candidate is wasting campaign energy over the dust-up.

A 3 August article in Politico noted that while the chicken debate was tasty fodder for  the conservative and liberal bases, it didn't help either candidate.

July 6, 2012

The Advocate offers its seal of approval to President Obama

In  6 July editorial, LGBT news magazine the Advocate endorsed President Barack Obama.

'Barack Obama is a leader of undeniable accomplishment, vision, and integrity on LGBT rights,' the editorial says.

The magazine has not given such an endorsement in many years, and admits it had prolems with Obama's LGBT equality stategy. However, the Obama way has won many accomplishments for gay and lesbian rights.

May 31, 2012

Case against federal ban on same-sex marriage could wind up in US Supreme Court

In two separate cases that test the law as never before, a three-judge panel on the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has found that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

DOMA prevents the US government from recognizing same-sex marriages even in states where such marriages are legal so couples cannot file joint federal tax returns or receive survivor benefits if one spouse dies.

The judges found that denial of federal benefits that opposite-sex couples automatically enjoy violates the guarantee of equal protection under the US Constitution.

May 19, 2012

Obama Administration's new rules against prison rape includes LGBT protections

This week the Justice Department published its new guidelines to put into place the Prison Rape Elimination Act (signed into law by then President George W. Bush). As reported by Think Progress, there are important protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming inmates.

April 26, 2012

Oscar winning screenwriter says if Obama's 'evolution' falls short,'  LGBT community must abandon their support

Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar winning screenwriter and LGBT activist, is taking President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to task for their positions on gay marriage.

Obama, who famously said he is still 'evolving' on the issue, gets credit from Black for his Justice Department's progress on LGBT issues. But Black points out that many are 'frustrated with Obama's sluggish, self-described 'evolution.''