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The ostensible assault on LGBT+ rights in Hungary, Poland and Russia has a very big target—anyone who signs up to universal norms.

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, used the visit by the pope to Budapest last month to advance his populist agenda. He said he had been encouraged by his meeting with Frances to advance ‘family values’. Indeed, Orbán claimed to have…
An activist holding the EU flag during a protest in Warsaw against “LGBT ideology free zones”. ©2021 Attila Husejnow / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
News

Lee Bo-reum found school almost intolerable. As a young woman, she was outed to her peers as a lesbian, and was ostracized and bullied by her classmates for her sexual orientation. As the mistreatment persisted, she eventually became depressed and…
News
During Pride month in June, LGBT rights once again became a flashpoint in Europe, where the rights of LGBT people have become a wedge issue, deployed for political effect. This simmering conflict is coming to a head between Hungary and Poland and the…
Demonstrators wrapped in LGBT and European Union flags are seen on August 30, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. © 2020 Aleksander Kalka/NurPhoto via AP
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Russia, Nigeria, Uganda and Hungary have all passed odious laws in recent years that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Ghana’s proposed legislation takes bad parts from all of these and adds some.

Sometimes the human capacity for cruelty takes my breath away. A recently proposed bill on “sexual rights” and “family values” in Ghana is a case study in extreme cruelty. Ghanaian MPs are considering legislation that is so onerous it beggars…
A young lesbian woman at an LGBT community center in Accra, Ghana.
News

Digital Targeting of LGBT People by Middle East/North Africa Governments

Sarah Hegazy, an Egyptian queer feminist, raised a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo. Rania Amdouni, a Tunisian queer activist, protested deteriorating economic conditions and police brutality in Tunis. Mohamad al-Bokari, a Yemeni blogger in Saudi…
Sarah Hegazy, Egyptian LGBTQ activist, photographed by a friend who wished to remain anonymous, at a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo in 2017 © 2020 anonymous.
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When I met a former independent Lebanese parliament member, she asked me, “How can we mobilize the LGBT vote in Lebanon?” She wanted to understand why the Lebanese “LGBT community” had not voted as a block in the 2018 parliamentary elections to oppose…
LGBT activists in Beirut, Lebanon shout slogans and hold up a rainbow flag as they march to demand equal rights in a country gripped by economic and financial crisis, June 27, 2020.
News

An Interview with Pau González of Hombres Trans Panamá

I. Introduction On April 1, 2020, the government of Panama introduced a gender-based lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that women and men were only allowed to do essential shopping on alternate days. The country’s Health…
Pau González. © Alexandra Gil
News
In just the past six months, more than 110 bills have been introduced in state legislatures attempting to roll back transgender rights, most of them targeting transgender youth. At the same time, legislative efforts to actively protect the…
Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on Oct. 8, 2019. 
News
Her job had been going well, the woman told me. But her married boss started making sexual advances, which she rebuffed. Then he gave her a gift — a clock. She put it in her bedroom, but the light bothered her, so she kept moving it. “But every…
Women protest to demand stronger government action to fight the spread of intimate photos and footage taken by hidden cameras in Seoul, South Korea, July 7, 2018.
News

Labor Laws Can Support Women Trying to Escape Abuse

Under Covid-19-related lockdowns in 2020, most violent crime in France dropped. Reports of domestic violence and rape went up. The pandemic contributed to a 30 percent increase in reported domestic violence cases within two weeks of…
Protestors marching to demand the end of femicide and violence against women in Paris, France, November 23, 2019. 
News
On the campaign trail and during his first three months in office, President Biden promised a US return to a multilateral foreign policy that supports human rights. That is an important vision for the Middle East, a region often destabilized…
President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department in Washington, February 4, 2021. 
News
  As some state lawmakers search for new battles in the culture war, they have introduced bills to exclude transgender children from playing sports with their classmates. Lawmakers in North Dakota should reject these cynical attempts – and…
Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on Oct. 8, 2019. 
News
Eighteen years ago, in February 2003, Human Rights Watch interviewed Angela P, who was 10 years old when the brutal armed group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped her in northern Uganda. At age 15,  she was forced to become a “wife” to an LRA…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
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The state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta have always had global sports ambitions. From the time the country’s first NCAA D1 football stadium was built there in 1913, to the 1996 Summer Olympics and three Super Bowls, Atlanta has sought to be an…
Transgender and non-binary individuals and their allies stroll through Atlanta’s Midtown district during Pride’s Transgender Rights March on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.
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It’s impossible to evaluate what the year 2020 looked like from the perspective of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights without recognizing how Covid-19 put a spanner in the works and made for an especially tumultuous year, including…
201712lgbt_flag_protest_generic
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For 30 days, beginning January 17, European Union commissioners received daily Twitter notifications linking to personal stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Poles who have been harmed  by the  so-called “LGBT Ideology…
People take part in a gay pride parade in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, June 8, 2019.
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An uptick in coronavirus cases in Japan has prompted a new state of emergency declaration and sparked debate here about the upcoming Olympics in Japan. The International Olympic Committee and health and sport authorities will work out the feasibility…
A staff member adjusts a banner for a press conference to launch international signature campaign for the enactment of the "LGBT Equality Law" as a legacy of the Tokyo Olympics Thursday on October 15, 2020, in Tokyo.
News
On a Saturday night in 2017, a transgender woman was about to pay for her purchases at a Walmart in Oklahoma when the cashier stared at her with wide eyes and abruptly closed the check-out lane. “I don’t have to deal with you people,” she said. The…
Transgender rights activists gather in front of the White House in Washington, DC, for a #WontBeErased rally, October 22, 2018.
News

Police Violence Against LGBT People in Tunisia

On October 6, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Tunisia raised their voices and banners in the street, amid the hundreds of demonstrators who were peacefully protesting a draft law that would drastically limit criminal…
Saif Ayadi, LGBT rights activist at Damj Association, surrounded by protesters on October 6, 2020.