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September 8, 2014

A bill that criminalizes inciting homophobic violence has been approved

About 500 gay rights activists protested outside the Greek parliament in Athens on Friday evening after legislation on civil unions for gay couples was delayed.

Nearly three years after it was first brought to parliament, lawmakers approved a bill that criminalizes the incitement of violence on the basis of race or sexual orientation, but civil unions were left out of legislation.

Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou said further study was needed on how the civil unions would affect tax, social insurance and family law.

September 3, 2014

Adoption and social security rights will also be extended to gay couples

Coahuila on Monday became the first Mexican state to formally approve gay marriage through its legislature.

Lawmakers approved 40 changes to the state’s civil code that will extend all marital rights to gay couples, including adoption and social security.

The changes were passed by 19 votes to three and could come into effect as early as next week.

Leftist congressman Samuel Acevedo, who proposed the changes in March, told journalists the change was 'a great step forward.'

September 1, 2014

The country’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of a lesbian who wants to step-adopt her partner’s biological children

Following a five-year legal battle by a lesbian couple, Colombia’s Constitutional Court has ruled that sexual orientation must not be regarded as a discriminating factor by welfare services considering second-parent adoptions.

Ana Leiderman and Veronica Botero, who live in Medellin, share the upbringing of Leiderman’s children: a six-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy. Both children were born after Leiderman underwent artificial insemination. The women underwent a civil union in Germany in 2008, and Botero first applied to adopt the-then baby girl five years ago.

August 15, 2014

Group 'condemns all laws, regulations and rules or practices that discriminate' against an LGBT person

At its annual meeting in Boston this week, the American Bar Association officially adopted a policy recognizing the rights of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender as basic human rights.

A four paragraph resolution passed by the association's 560-member House of Delegates condemns laws, regulations, rules and practices that discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of their status and encourages the US government to work to end this discrimination.

July 29, 2014

Because the leaders of the two African countries refuse to change their laws criminalizing homosexuality, 10 American politicians want President Obama to hit them where it hurts: Their economy

Almost a dozen of America’s senators want US President Barack Obama to reconsider trade agreements with Nigeria and Uganda because of their homophobic laws.

Obama is scheduled to meet with African leaders next month from 4 to 6 August during the first-ever African Leaders Summit held in Washington DC.

July 5, 2014

 UK Trans woman Avery Edison was held in a men’s prison in Canada in February, and is now filing a complaint to stop it from happening again

A UK trans woman who was held in a men’s prison in Canada is filing two human rights complaints.

Avery Edison, a 26-year-old trans woman from London, UK, was detained in February this year when she was travelling to Canada.

June 27, 2014

Egypt and Sierra Leone put forward a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on the ‘protection of the family’ which was passed without language inclusive of LGBTI families with the help of Russia

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on the ‘protection of the family,’ but attempts to have it amended to recognize there are a variety of family structures – including those headed by LGBTI people – were blocked.

The resolution was put forward by diplomats from Egypt and Sierra Leone during the Human Rights Council’s 26th Session yesterday and calls for a plenary panel on the protection of the family and its members at the Human Rights Council’s September Council session.

June 23, 2014

The Government of Mongolia is proposing to pass new laws protecting LGBTIs and ethnic minorities from hate crimes after a wave of attacks by neo-Nazis against vulnerable groups in recent years

LGBTI people and ethnic minorities will be protected from being subjected to hate crimes in Mongolia if a government proposal goes forward.

Homosexuality has been legal in Mongolia since 1961 but homophobic views are pervasive throughout society and LGBTI rights were only discussed in parliament for the first time in April of last year.

LGBTI people have been subjected to a number of severe violent attacks in recent years, as have ethnic minorities, as there has been an up swell in neo-Nazi inspired nationalist groups in the country.

June 20, 2014

But nation's top diplomat acknowledges 'there’s cloud hanging over this journey right now' with anti-gay laws in Uganda, Russia and more

US Secretary of State John Kerry celebrated his country's advances in LGBT equality on Friday (20 June) but said there must be 'push back' against a global trend of rising violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.

'We can palpably feel the wave of new, growing - the trend if you will, in some places for anti-LGBT laws that are metastasizing in various places,' Kerry said at the Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies Pride Celebration.

June 18, 2014

Human rights group ARC International is calling for non-government organizations to sign on to a statement calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a new resolution ensuring LGBTI rights violations remain a priority at the UN

Non-government organizations from around the world are being invited to endorse a statement calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to pass a new resolution prioritizing the recording, discussion and attention to human rights violations against LGBTI people in member states.

June 17, 2014

Botswana has backed a call by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights for states to take steps to protect people from being subjected to human rights abuses because of their sexual orientation or gender identity

Botswana has backed a call by the African Union’s highest human rights body to protect the human rights of LGBTI people – though it has not yet said it will repeal its laws criminalizing same-sex relationships.

The 55th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution in May calling for member states to respect the rights of LGBTI people in the strongest statement to date from a continent level body in Africa.

June 17, 2014

Botswana has backed a call by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights for states to take steps to protect people from being subjected to human rights abuses because of their sexual orientation or gender identity

Botswana has backed a call by the African Union’s highest human rights body to protect the human rights of LGBTI people – though it has not yet said it will repeal its laws criminalizing same-sex relationships.

The 55th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution in May calling for member states to respect the rights of LGBTI people in the strongest statement to date from a continent level body in Africa.

June 12, 2014

Several thousand LGBTI advocates and allies signed a petition calling for him to be blocked from taking the petition, but the UN failed to listen

Uganda’s foreign minister Sam Kutesa, accused of helping to pass the anti-gay law, has been elected United Nations president.

It was Africa’s turn to make the appointment, and 65-year-old was the continent’s unanimous choice for the role.

Several thousand LGBTI advocates and allies signed a petition calling for him to be blocked from taking the petition, but the UN failed to listen.

They accused him of playing a role in the enactment of Uganda’s strict anti-gay law, which sets up sentences of up to life in prison for homosexuality.

June 9, 2014

200,000 people took to the streets of the Italian capital on Saturday to demand that lawmakers provide the means for same-sex couples to formally register their relationships with the state

200,000 marchers took to the streets of Rome on Saturday to call for Italian lawmakers to finally pass legislation to create civil unions for same-sex couples.

Several civil union bills have been introduced in the Italian Parliament over the last two decades but none has been passed despite a 2010 Italian Constitutional Court ruling that committed same-sex relationships are a ‘legitimate social formation, similar to and deserving homogeneous treatment as marriage.’

May 23, 2014

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has warned members of the African Union that they must respect the rights of LGBTI people or fail their commitments to human rights

The 55th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has adopted a resolution calling for the member states of the African Union to respect the rights of LGBTI people in the strongest statement to date from a continent level body in Africa.

May 22, 2014

The United Nations has voiced its concerns that both pro-Russian and pro-Ukraine elements have been targeting LGBTI people during the conflict over whether eastern Ukraine splits to join Russia

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is warning that Ukraine’s LGBTI community is getting caught in the middle of the struggle between pro and anti-Russian factions in the country, with groups on both sides targeting them for persecution.

The United Nations’ Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) report for the period 2 April to 6 May this year found that both sides in the conflict viewed LGBTIs negatively.

May 22, 2014

The United Nations has voiced its concerns that both pro-Russian and pro-Ukraine elements have been targeting LGBTI people during the conflict over whether eastern Ukraine splits to join Russia

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is warning that Ukraine’s LGBTI community is getting caught in the middle of the struggle between pro and anti-Russian factions in the country, with groups on both sides targeting them for persecution.

The United Nations’ Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) report for the period 2 April to 6 May this year found that both sides in the conflict viewed LGBTIs negatively.

May 17, 2014

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry mark the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia calling on people everywhere to join in defending the equal rights of LGBTs

President Barack Obama’s full statement:

'Tomorrow [May 17], as we commemorate the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we recommit ourselves to the fundamental belief that all people should be treated equally, that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, and that no one should face violence or discrimination — no matter who they are or whom they love.

April 28, 2014

Cardinal Sean Brady and six bishops says it is not discrimination to oppose same-sex marriage as gay and straight relationships are fundamentally different

Bishops in Northern Ireland are demanding politicians to reject gay marriage tomorrow (29 April).

The assembly is due to debate a Sinn Fein-backed proposal to introduce same-sex marriage.

In a letter written to all members of the legislative assembly (MLA), it claims same-sex marriage undermines the principle of equality by applying it ‘inappropriately’.

April 27, 2014

'Obama wants to appear to his own people, and to the rest of the world, as the leader of the free world. It is easy for him to perform USA's moral leadership globally by supporting rights issues elsewhere. But why should Obama have the moral imperative to support local rights issues elsewhere?'

(With US President Barack Obama on a historic visit to Malaysia this weekend, Malaysian LGBT rights activist Pang Khee Teik responds to the Human Rights Watch’s call on Obama to address LGBT issues among other rights during his visit.)

April 26, 2014

'Right now, this country is deeply divided into two Americas—one where LGBT equality is nearly a reality and the other where LGBT people lack the most fundamental measures of equal citizenship'

The Human Rights Campaign is bringing the gay equality struggle to the US South.

April 23, 2014

Gay rights activist says: ‘Oh look. The process of forgetting what all the fuss was about RE: same-sex marriage has begun'

Same-sex marriage is now a reality in England and Wales, and it appears the first legal unions a little less than a month ago has drastically changed people’s views.

A majority of Conservative and UKIP supporters, traditionally known as the ‘homophobic’ parties, are now in favor of same-sex marriage.

A study found 61% of Tories and 54% of UKIP supporters said they would agree same-sex couples deserve to have legal unions.

April 15, 2014

United Nations has appealed to Brunei to delay the penal code that will introduce death by stoning for several crimes including homosexuality

Brunei will now stone you if you have gay sex from next week.

The predominantly Muslim nation of south-east Asia has adopted a new penal code calling for death by stoning for several crimes.

This includes homosexuality, adultery, rape, and declaring oneself to be non-Muslim.

Gay sex was originally only punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The United Nations human rights office has appealed to Brunei to hold off enforcement of the new penal code, scheduled to take effect 22 April.

March 17, 2014

Inspirational advocates from across Asia share their stories at landmark awards ceremony in Singapore

Asia’s LGBTI heroes have been honored at the first Asian Pink Awards in Singapore.

Campaigners and company representatives flew in from all over the region and as far away as Europe for the event last night (16 March), organized by Asian gay men’s magazine Element.

Among those honored was A-Mei, the hit Taiwanese singer who held a free concert in 2013 to support same-sex marriage.

Another singer, Laure Shang, a past winner of the Chinese Supergirls contest and an LGBTI advocate was also given an award.