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Judge Denies Abused Woman Divorce, Citing ‘Traditional Values’

“In principle, in divorce cases, the first time one sues for divorce, it won’t be granted. [Marriage is] a traditional value,” said Judge Zhang Yanbin in the Chinese city of Chengdu, ruling against a woman’s petition for divorce. “We made the ruling to…
A woman wearing a protective mask makes her way on a heavily polluted day in Beijing, December 26, 2015.
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Vote Could Undermine Constitutional Court Ruling Upholding Basic Rights

People’s human rights should not hinge on a popular vote. But that’s exactly what is happening in Taiwan, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are at risk. Ironically, the latest threat…
Supporters of same-sex marriage take part in a rally outside Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Taiwan, December 10, 2016.
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A Glint of Progress but Government Lags in LGBT Protections

The Hong Kong government has implemented a court order to recognize same-sex spouses of residents in visa proceedings. The case that led to the order, QT v Director of Immigration, began in 2011. “QT,” a female British…
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Netherlands Court Cites India, Nepal Cases

A Netherlands district court cited supreme court judgments from India and Nepal when it ruled the Dutch legislature should provide a way for citizens to legally identify as neither male nor female if they prefer. The Supreme…
Bhumika Shrestha, a transgender woman in Nepal, holds her citizenship certificate, which listed her as male in 2011. Nepal legally recognized a third gender category beginning in 2007, but it took Shrestha and other activists and transgender citizens unti
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Ruling Should Prompt Banning of Practice to Change Sexual Orientation

Last week, in an unprecedented case, a court in China ruled against a public hospital that had forced a gay man into so-called conversion therapy. This ruling was the first of its kind – against a public institution in China. The…
Activists raise a rainbow flag as they march during a demonstration to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Changsha, Hunan province May 17, 2013.
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Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
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Third Gender Column on Job Application Form Makes a Difference

More than 600 transgender people applied for civil service jobs in Nepal last year, according to a government report released last week. LGBT rights activists hail the announcement as practical progress toward implementing Nepal’s identity-based legal…
A reveller gets ready to take part in a LGBT pride parade to mark Gaijatra Festival, also known as the festival of cows, in Kathmandu, Nepal August 30, 2015.
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The Furong District People’s Court in Changsha didn’t seem to think its decision needed an explanation. Despite the court’s terse dismissal of a landmark case that would have recognized the first same-sex marriage in China,…
Activists raise a rainbow flag as they march during a demonstration to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Changsha, Hunan province May 17, 2013.
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Monica Shahi made history today as Nepal’s first citizen to carry a passport that allows its bearer to select a gender other than male or female. This acknowledgement of her gender identity follows years of activism that pushed the legal system to…
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When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake strikes, its tremors are felt across a wide region. But the impact of the quake in Nepal, which has more than 2.2 million citizens working abroad, is resounding around the world. In the days and months ahead, Nepali…
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On April 24, the Chinese government’s willingness to examine domestic violence as a possible mitigating factor in sentencing will go on trial as a Sichuan court rules in the case of Li Yan, who was sentenced to death for murdering her abusive husband. Her…
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On waking from an afternoon nap, first century Chinese Emperor Ai of the Han Dynasty (27 to 1 BC) cut off his sleeve rather than wake his male lover, Dong Xiang, who was sleeping across it.  For two thousand years same-sex love has been referred to in…