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Hospital is First Institution to Make This Change and Apologize for Harm Done

In a victory for intersex people, a hospital in Chicago pledged earlier this year to stop performing medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with intersex traits. The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital also became the first…
Intersex activist Sean Saifa Wall protests outside Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago for Intersex Awareness Day on October 26, 2017.
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Discrimination Follows them from Home to the US Border

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, sometimes called the Northern Triangle, often face violence and discrimination from their families, gangs, and even the police. When they try to seek asylum…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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Aren’t these laws just designed to protect religious freedom in the US? Religious freedom is an important value, but these laws don’t respond to any real-world threat to religious freedom and are more about legitimizing discrimination. The…
Demonstrators protest during oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorodo Civil Rights Commission case at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., December 5, 2017.
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What are some of the misconceptions around being born intersex? Unfortunately, in our society we’re still at a point where most people don’t know the basic facts about being intersex. People think it is very rare, but really, up to two percent of the…
A poster by intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis
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This spring, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would have prevented transgender students from using restrooms, locker rooms, and showers that match their gender identity. With the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South…
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Cops Stop Harrassing Sex Workers for Carrying Condoms

Sex workers in San Francisco, Washington DC, and part of New York State can now carry condoms – protecting themselves and their clients from HIV/AIDS – without fearing that police will use the condoms as evidence of prostitution. In July, Human Rights…
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On April 27, 2011, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the elimination of the city's backlog of 6,132 untested sexual assault evidence kits, or "rape kits," collected through December 2008. This important announcement came two years after…
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Human Rights Watch urges the Defense Department to implement rapidly the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010." As documented in our 2003 report, "Uniform Discrimination: the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy of the US Military," men and women who have…
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On September 19, a majority of US senators voted to approve an amendment that would restore the right to habeas corpus, one of the oldest and most important checks on the arbitrary exercise of government power. Last year’s Military Commissions Act…
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On June 8, the Council of Europe released a report confirming allegations first made by Human Rights Watch in 2005 that the CIA used locations in Poland and Romania for the secret detention of terror suspects. During several years of research, we combed…
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A report by U.N. human rights experts confirms what Human Rights Watch and other nongovernmental organizations have long documented-that the United States is violating international human rights law and the Geneva Conventions by indefinitely detaining,…
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In a new report by Human Rights Watch, United States soldiers have for the first time come forward to describe torture and other abuse by the U.S. military in Iraq, and the failure of superior officers to stop it. Human Rights Watch's report has…
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In two recent reports, Human Rights Watch has exposed the increasing reliance by Western governments on a practice called "diplomatic assurances," which enable those governments to return terror suspects to their home countries, many of which are known to…
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The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed an amendment offered by Representative Edward J. Markey that reaffirms the government's opposition to torture and prohibits the use of U.S. funds for the practice of "extraordinary rendition." The…
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Constitutional right to privacy of gays and lesbians in the United States

On June 26, 2003 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Lawrence v. Texas that the constitutional right to privacy protects consensual, adult sexual intimacy in the home. In declaring the Texas "homosexual conduct" law unconstitutional, the court overturned…
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On December 26, the Washington Post reported that persons held at a CIA interrogation center in Bagram air base in Afghanistan were being subjected to "stress and duress" techniques such as "standing or kneeling for hours" and "being held in awkward,…
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On August 15, HRW released "Presumption of Guilt: Human Rights Abuses of Post-September 11 Detainees." The report is based on interviews with scores of detainees and their attorneys, documenting cases of arbitrary detention…
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Widney Brown and Mike Bochenek, co-authors of "Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in U.S. Schools," returned to Los Angeles in March to help prepare for the anti-bias training of…