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Content about Human rights

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.

March 13, 2014

By the end of the year, Scottish gay couples should be able to unite in matrimony. England and Wales couples will be able to marry on 29 March

Queen Elizabeth II has signed same-sex marriage into law in Scotland today (13 March).

By the end of the year, Scottish gay couples will be able to unite in matrimony.

It is the last step in the long battle to get the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill through parliament, making it an Act.

Alex Neil, cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing, said: 'I am delighted that the Same Sex Marriage Bill has now received Royal Assent.

March 5, 2014

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has announced his support for same-sex marriage a year after signing civil unions for same-sex couples into law

Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has announced that he wants his state to join the growing list of US states that allow same-sex couples to legally marry – releasing a statement in support of the campaign for equal marriage in his state.

‘We have advocated for equal rights for all Coloradans and we will continue to advocate for equal rights for all Coloradans,’ Hickenlooper said in his statement for advocacy group Why Marriage Matters Colorado.

February 21, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry slams Yahya Jammeh for calling gay people ‘vermin’ that must be dealt with like mosquitoes

Secretary of State John Kerry said the US is 'deeply troubled' by Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh calling gay people ‘vermin’ that must be dealt with like mosquitoes.

Kerry labeled Jammeh's remarks 'hateful rhetoric' and called on the international community to condemn them.

'All people are created equal and should be able to live free from discrimination, and that includes discrimination based on sexual identity and sexual orientation,' Kerry said in a statement.

February 20, 2014

Joaquim Chissano has called on African leaders to remember the immortal words of Nelson Mandela and to fight for equality

Mozambique’s former president has called for Africa to respect and stop introducing harsher penalties for homosexuality.

Joaquim Chissano, who served as the country’s second president from 1986 to 2005, has reacted to Nigeria introducing one of the most draconic homophobic laws in the world.

Not only does the law ban gay marriage and gay rights organizations, but any person who even provides services to someone LGBT could be imprisoned.

February 12, 2014

International human rights group Human Rights Watch has called on the Malaysian Government to stop trying to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim prosecuted over claims he has had sex with men and to end its colonial era ban on gay sex

Human Rights Watch have called on the Malaysian Government to end its attempts to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim jailed over claims he has had sex with men in what is widely viewed as an effort to keep the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in power.

BN have ruled Malaysia since 1974 and Ibrahim is a former BN MP turned vocal critic of the government who has been trying to unseat the Malaysian Government since 1998.