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February 27, 2015

A teenage girl allegedly stubbed a cigarette out on a woman's face during the incident

A group of teenagers have been found guilty of assaulting a couple who were trying to defend their gay son. 

Following a hearing at Dublin Children's Court yesterday, three teenage girls – aged between 16 and 17 – were found guilty of 'committing a violent disorder'. 

After responding to a group of youths standing outside their home who were shouting homophobic abuse at their son, a woman claimed she was punched, kicked and had a ciggerette stubbed out on her face.

February 24, 2015

Massachusetts teen refuses to enter plea

A Philippine court has entered a not guilty plea on behalf of a US marine charged with the murder of a transgender woman.

Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, refused to enter a plea at his arraignment on Monday (23 February).

The courthouse in Olangapo is a five-minute drive from the motel where Jennifer Laude, 26, was found dead in October last year.

The Massachusetts teen, who was in the Philippines for joint military exercises, was the last person to be seen with her.

February 21, 2015

'The rogue actions of Travis County judges do not withstand the scrutiny of law'

Texas wants its highest court to void the marriage license of the southern state's only legally married same-sex couple.

Yesterday, 20 February, state Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court.

February 20, 2015

Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that same-sex couples can adopt jointly – but only if the child is the biological child of one of the partners

LGBTI rights activists in Colombia are disappointed after the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the only circumstance where gays and lesbians should be allowed to adopt is where the child in question is the biological child of their partner.

The issue had been winding its way through the courts and there were hopes it might lead to full adoption rights for LGBTI Colombians, but Colombia’s highest court declared the matter settled on Wednesday via an announcement on Twitter.

February 13, 2015

First time a US court rules homosexuality is not a disease or disorder

A New Jersey judge has ruled misrepresenting homosexuality as a disorder in marketing conversion therapy services is consumer fraud.

The ruling marks the first time a US court has found that homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder and that it is fraudulent for conversion therapists to make such a claim.

Hudson County superior court judge Peter Bariso Jr said Tuesday (10 February) such claims violated the state's Consumer Fraud Act.

February 10, 2015

That's including you, Mississippi

Gay couples across the US could be celebrating the right to marry in every single state this June.

The Supreme Court has indicated the justices are likely to rule that no state can restrict marriage to only heterosexual couples.

Only two out of the nine justices - conservatives Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia - has dissented from the court's refusal to block gay weddings from starting in Alabama.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in 37 out of 50 states.

February 10, 2015

Judge says allegations of conspiracy are 'unsubstantiated by any facts'

Malaysia's top court today (10 February) upheld opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's conviction for sodomy, which is illegal in the Muslim-majority.

Federal Court judge Arifin Zakat said there was 'overwhelming evidence' that the former deputy prime minister had sodomized a male aide, and defense allegations that the case was a political conspiracy were 'unsubstantiated by any facts whatsoever.'

February 3, 2015

Richard Perrins is a solicitor at leading specialist fertility and family law firm Natalie Gamble Associates. Here he explores what happens when same-sex couples break up and decide to divorce or dissolve their partnership

Same sex marriage is now legal in England and Wales, which is cause for much celebration.

However, sadly and inevitably not all relationships will survive and understanding the process to end the legal relationship will be important.

Here is a basic guide, for those living in England and Wales, to the process for divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships: the process is virtually identical save for a few exceptions identified below.

What is divorce/dissolution?

February 2, 2015

'My being out as a gay woman ... way before it was an okay thing to do'

Martina Navratilova won more singles and doubles titles than anyone - female or male - in the history of professional tennis.

While she has a lot of on-court achievements to be proud of, the tennis legend shared during an interview at the Australian Open what she's most proud of achieving off the court.

'My being out as a gay woman,' she said during the tournament where she not only was coaching world number six Agnieszka Radwanska but also did television commentary and presented the winner's trophy to Serena Williams.

February 1, 2015

Peter Morris, a partner, and Sue Parkinson, a trainee solicitor, with UK-based law firm Irwin Mitchell, look at some of the legal complications that may be involved with adopting; some of which can arise after a child has already joined your home

Adoption is permanent, involving the severing of ties between a child and their birth family.

Adoption is a positive way of assisting children to find a permanent, safe and loving home, and the child’s lifelong welfare is the paramount consideration.

Gay and lesbian singles as well as same-sex couples can adopt a child in the UK.

There are clear examples of a same sex placement being the best option for the child. These can include cases involving children with a background of emotional or physical abuse from a parent of a particular gender.

January 28, 2015

Top court bars five other states from intervening

Malaysia's Federal Court Monday (26 January) allowed Negeri Sembilan state to challenge the Court of Appeal's ruling against its Islamic cross-dressing ban.

However, the five-judge panel said it would only rule on whether the Shariah enactment contravened the constitution and would not hear arguments about whether religious law can be repealed by a civil court.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has a dual-justice system that separates secular and Sharia law. The latter only applies to Muslims and is a state matter.

January 25, 2015

'I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. My faith teaches me that, my Christian faith teaches me that'

Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, wants to see the US Constitution amended if the Supreme Court strikes down marriage equality bans.

The Republican was a guest on the Sunday news show This Week.

January 23, 2015

US president is interviewed by three YouTube stars

US President Barack Obama has said he hoped the Supreme Court would make the 'right decision' on gay marriage when it rules on the issue in spring.

The president yesterday (22 January) gave interviews to three YouTube stars in an attempt to reach a younger audience.

Obama told comedian GloZell Green that he was hopeful the high court would recognize there was 'no good reason' to ban gay marriage.

January 20, 2015

Supreme Court rules in favor of two non-operative transgender women

Transgender Israelis are no longer required to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to change the gender designation on their ID cards.

The change comes after the Supreme Court ordered the ministry of interior to legally change the gender of two transgender citizens from male to female, Haaretz newspaper reported.

A petition was filed at the court by a lawyer and an ex-soldier who started transitioning during her compulsory military service.

January 17, 2015

'...The history of the Supreme Court is a history of case after case after case holding that marriage is a fundamental right —that it protects individual freedom...'

David Boies, the attorney who argued against Proposition 8 in front of the US Supreme Court, thinks the country's highest court is ready to make a definitive legal answer on marriage equality.

January 13, 2015

'Shirvell's conduct reasonably could have created the impression that neither he nor the department enforced the law in a fair, even-handed manner without bias'

A court has found a former Michigan state's lawyer one-man campaign against an out college student does not fall under First Amendment protection.

Last week the Michigan appeals court ruled against Andrew Shirvell. The former state assistant attorney general was fired in 2010 for harassing the student body president of the University of Michigan, who happened to be gay.

January 10, 2015

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denies request from Butch Otter for review of gay marriage ruling by full court

Idaho Governor Butch Otter lost a legal round on Friday (9 January) when the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied his request for a review of its decision to struck down his state's ban on gay marriage.

The ruling was made by a three judge panel of the court in October. Otter wanted the case to be reheard by the full 30-member court.

The court stated: 'The matter failed to receive a majority of the votes of the non-recused active judges in favor' of rehearing the case.

Just three judges voted for a rehearing before the full court.

January 8, 2015

Comedian also crashed his partner's £150,000 Bentley

Stephen Fry's new fiancé Elliott Spencer yesterday (5 January) was banned from driving for speeding at 101mph in a £130,000 Aston Martin.

A day after news of their engagement broke, the 27-year-old comedian appeared in a South Wales court to receive his sentence – a seven-day driving ban and a £205 fine.

Fry, 57, supported his husband-to-be at the 30-minute hearing. 

January 3, 2015

'My office will not stand in the way as clerks of court determine how to proceed'

It looks like Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will not block LGBTI couples from marrying.

The southern state's legal advisor issued a statement in response to federal district Judge Robert Hinkle's ruling all Florida clerks must provide same-sex marriage certificates come 6 January.

December 30, 2014

37 American companies have signed onto an amicus brief backing the legalization of same-sex marriage in Florida by a United States District Court which is hearing an appeals case on the issue

Some of America’s best known companies have joined the case against Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, signing onto an amicus, or ‘friend-of-the-court,’ brief signalling their interest in the case.

US District Judge Robert Hinkle court ruled Florida's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on 21 August. However that ruling appears to apply to just one Florida county.

December 29, 2014

Green Party of Germany MP Volker Beck says the embassies of Western countries in places like Egypt should play an active role in assisting LGBTI people flee state sanctioned persecution

German Greens MP Volker Beck has told the Deutsche Welle news agency that Western diplomatic missions should play more of a role in assisting sexual minorities who are facing persecution in reaction to the arrest and prosecution of a large group of gay men in Egypt.

December 26, 2014

Hailed as a landmark victory for LGBTs in China, gay rights activists say they hope the court's decision will help put an end to the practice of 'gay conversion' therapy in the country

In the first case of its kind in China, Beijing's Haidian District People's Court last Friday ruled that the Xinyupiaoxiang Counseling Center in Chongqing had no medical basis to offer a cure for homosexuality.

It ordered the clinic to pay 3,500 yuan (US$560) to Yang Teng who took the case to court after he underwent hypnosis and electric shock treatment after being told by the clinic that it was a safe and effective cure for homosexuality. 

December 26, 2014

Judge says the politician is entitled to privacy as his private life was not widely known and he never intended to publicly reveal his sexual orientaton

A court in Paris on Wednesday ordered French gossip magazine Closer to pay €20,000 (US$24,400)  in damages for 'invasion of privacy' for outing the far-right National Front party's Vice-President Florian Philippot as gay.

The magazine was also ordered to publish the court's verdict on its front page and pay Philippot €3,500 for his legal fees.

Earlier this month, the magazine published four pages of photographs taken in Vienna showing Philippot and an unnamed man whose face was blurred out and alledged to be his boyfriend.

December 18, 2014

Butch Otter believes Idaho case is 'best vehicle' for same-sex marriage issue to be decided for the nation

Idaho Governor Butch Otter wants his state's gay marriage case to be decided by the nation's highest court.

On Wednesday (17 December), lawyers for the governor filed what is known as a friend-of-the-court brief with the US Supreme Court.

In it, they ask that the court - which is considering hearing several gay marriages cases this term - hear a case out of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which includes Idaho.