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November 14, 2014

Senior official says culture is no excuse for denying human rights

The US has urged India end to discrimination against LGBTI people and said culture is no excuse for denying human rights.

Sarah Sewall, under-secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights at the US state department, made the comments yesterday (13 November) while delivering a lecture on human rights in New Delhi.

November 10, 2014

Kees van Baar, human rights ambassador for the Netherlands, wants to work with corporates to improve life for LGBTIs around world

The new human rights ambassador for the Netherlands wants to work with the world’s biggest firms to make the world a better place for LGBTI citizens.

In particular, Kees van Baar hopes to change cultures in countries where homosexuality is illegal, by encouraging big employers to promote diversity for gay, bi and trans employees.

He said it would be one of his aims during his time as the human rights ambassador, a four-year term which started two months ago.

October 27, 2014

Former US president praises speed of LGBTI movement but warns against complacency

Former US President Bill Clinton last night urged LGBTI activists to continue fighting for equality following recent victories for gay marriage advocates.

'I’ve never seen a civil rights movement, at least in our country, move as far and as fast as your movement, ever,' he said at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) annual dinner in Washington DC.

Since the beginning of October, the number of states that allow gay marriage has shot from 19 to 32, as well as the district of Columbia.

October 27, 2014

The bill was passed in a landslide vote earlier this month

The United Nations human rights office has urged Kyrgyzstan to scrap a draft law that punishes the spreading of 'gay propaganda' with up to a year in jail.

The Kyrgyz parliament passed the Russian-style bill in a landslide vote at its first reading earlier this month.

October 23, 2014

Korea University council is the first student body to ban discrimination against LGBTI people

The student council of Korea University in Seoul has revised its rules to ban discrimination against LGBTI people after several homophobic incidents on campus.

It is the first student body of a South Korean university to do so.

Earlier this year, a placard welcoming new LGBTI students was torn down by unidentified individuals. A similar incident occured at Ewha Womans University, sparking concerns about homophobia on campuses.

October 13, 2014

Fireworks will be going off not just for the new year this NYE, but for the first ever same-sex marriage in Scotland

Gay couples hoping to get married in Scotland finally have a date from when they can say their vows, following an announcement today (13 October).

The first official same-sex marriages will take place in Scotland on Hogmanay, 31 December 2014.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act will come into force on 16 December. This means any gay couple in a civil partnership can convert it into marriage, free of charge, from that date.

October 10, 2014

Amnesty International is the latest organization to call upon the President of Chad, Idriss Deby, to scrap a homophobic bill that is currently passing through the Chad parliament

In September, Government ministers voted in favour of a draft law that would make Chad the 37th African state to criminalise same-sex relations.

Its proposed penal code threatens jail sentences of between 15 and 20 years, and a fine of between CFA francs 50,000 to 500,000 (the equivalent of between £60 and £600.)

Ministers said at the time that the law was being introduced to, ‘protect the family and to comply with Chadian society’.

October 8, 2014

The male gender marker will also be removed

A Kenyan transgender activist yesterday won a landmark case to change the name on her high school exam certificate.

The high court gave the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) 45 days to change the name from Andrew Mbugua to Audrey Mbugua on her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.

She graduated with an A- grade.

The male gender mark will also be removed and any cost will be met by Mbugua.

Mbugua described her win as 'a huge watershed moment.'

October 3, 2014

LGBTI advocacy groups are very concerned about the new proposals

UK minister Chris Grayling, who believes B&Bs should have the right to turn away gay couples, wants to choose your human rights.

The Justice Secretary has said if the Conservatives win the next election, he wants to scrap the Human Rights Act by coming up with a new Bill of Rights.

Grayling has also said the Conservatives are prepared to distance itself from the European Convention of Human Rights, which requires rulings in Europe to be complied with in the UK.

October 2, 2014

On 1 October 1989 Denmark became the first country in the world to provide legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples – taking the first step on the road to marriage equality

Denmark is celebrating its Silver Anniversary of legally recognizing same-sex couples with civil partnerships this week – marking 25 years since it became the first country in the world to provide legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

On 1 October, 1989 the first 11 Danish same-sex couples were wed through civil ceremonies at the Copenhagen Town Hall by the then deputy mayor of the city Tom Ahlberg.

The same civil ceremony that was used for heterosexual couples to marry was used but with the word ‘marriage’ replaced with ‘registered partnership.’

September 26, 2014

After surviving a total of seven hostile amendments from Egypt, resolution passes 21-16 with seven abstentions

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday (26 September) passed a resolution which condemns discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Chile, one of the co-sponsors of the resolution, states that it 'does not seek to create new rights. ... There are some whose rights are more violated and need more protection.'

Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay were joined by 42 additional co-sponsors.

September 26, 2014

After surviving a total of seven hostile amendments from Egypt, resolution passes 21-16 with seven abstentions

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday (26 September) passed a resolution which condemns discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Chile, one of the co-sponsors of the resolution, states that it 'does not seek to create new rights. ... There are some whose rights are more violated and need more protection.'

Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay were joined by 42 additional co-sponsors.

September 18, 2014

'I'm a person who believes in standing up for his friends'

True Blood actor Joe Manganiello has revealed why he is such a staunch fighter for LGBTI equality.

'I had to watch my friends endure challenges not experienced by the straight community,' he said last weekend in Seattle while accepting the Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign.

Manganiello shared how he saw friends in school struggle with their sexuality and having their families not accept them and later he saw friends struggle in the job market or live in secret.

September 9, 2014

Activists fear the gay marriage bill has been shelved indefinitely

More than forty marriage equality and civil rights groups gathered outside the Taiwanese legislature in Taipei this morning calling on lawmakers to pass a marriage equality bill they say has been deliberately set aside.

They also announced a larger protest that will see 99 civil rights groups surround the Legislative Yuan when it reopens on October 5.

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.