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Law Curtailed Rights to Freedom of Expression, Health, Non-discrimination

Romania’s Constitutional Court this week struck down a law parliament adopted in June 2020 that would have, among other things, banned “activities aimed at spreading gender identity theory or opinion” in educational settings. This is a positive…
The Constitutional Court of Romania, July 2020. 
News

Activists Encourage Voters to Stay Away from Polls That ‘Legitimize Hatred’

Romanian polls open this weekend for a referendum that will subject the rights of minorities to the whims of the majority. If approved, the referendum would change the constitution to define marriage as one between “a man and a woman,”…
Members of Romania's gay community attend the GayFest Parade 2011 in Bucharest June 4, 2011.
News
  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

Romania Should Rescind Discrimination Against Gay Spouse

Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton finally have a chance to celebrate. The same-sex couple married in Belgium in 2010, but decided they wanted to live in Adrian’s native Romania (Clai is American). The kicker – Romania, which does not…
Members of Romania's gay community attend the GayFest Parade 2011 in Bucharest June 4, 2011.
Video
Today, Adrian and Clai finally have a chance to celebrate. The same-sex couple married in Belgium in 2010, but decided they wanted to live in Adrian’s native Romania (Clai is American). The kicker – Romania, which does not recognize same-sex marriage,…
News
In a moment when some countries have stepped back on LGBT rights, a January 9th decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has opened a window of opportunity for Latin America to lead the way.   In a landmark…
People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018. The sign reads: "The court said yes".
News
After everything that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experienced in 2017 — from roundups and torture in Chechnya to antigay witch hunts in Egypt and Indonesia, closure of queer-friendly health facilities in…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

What Happens When a Government Does Not Recognize Your Same-Sex Marriage

For most married European citizens it is simple: the European Union generally allows non-EU spouses of citizens to live and work anywhere in its jurisdiction if they accompany their EU citizen partner. All you need to do is…
People walk behind the European Union's flag during the annual gay parade in Budapest July 5, 2008.
News

As LGBT Couples Secure Rights, Opponents Campaign to Water Them Down

Earlier this month, Australia released the long-awaited results of its national postal survey on marriage equality, with almost 62 percent of the public – and a majority in every one of Australia’s states and territories –…
Police watch marchers holding signs and banners as they participate in a marriage equality march in central Sydney, Australia.
News

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.
News

Transgender Woman Helps People ‘Searching for Answers’

I was in Colombia last week to speak at an event about my work for Human Rights Watch with a focus on homophobic and transphobic bullying. I was to be interviewed by Brigitte Baptiste, who I had never met. When I took my seat in front of hundreds of…
Brigitte Baptiste (L) and Human Rights Watch LGBT Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich, Colombia, February 2017.
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
News

Landmark Ruling Ends Legal Uncertainty, Strengthens LGBT Rights

(New York) – The Colombian Constitutional Court ended years of uncertainty for same-sex couples and bolstered the rights of LGBT people when it upheld the validity of same-sex marriage on April 28, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today…
Protesters wave rainbow flags and advocate for LGBT rights outside of the Congress building in Bogotá.
News

Justice Minister’s Opposition Violates European Norms

(Berlin) –The Lithuanian justice minister’s blanket rejection of a gender neutral bill to allow civil partnerships contravenes European standards, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis released today. The minister was…
Judges of the European Court of Human Rights sit in the courtroom during a hearing at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
News

Condemns Violence, Bias Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

(Geneva) – The UN Human Rights Council resolution passed on September 26, 2014, to combat violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a critically important achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal…
News

New EU Presidency Should Set Example for Justice

(Brussels) – As Lithuania takes over the European Union’s rotating presidency it should lead by example, meet its legal obligations, and reopen its investigation into its own complicity in CIA secret prisons, US enforced disappearances, and alleged…
News
The U.N. Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution on “traditional values of humankind” as a vehicle for “promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.” It sounds innocuous, but its implications are ominous. Indeed, it is an immediate threat to…
News

Making a difference in Malawi, Albania, Lithuania and Uganda

Human Rights Watch protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who are subject to discrimination and violence—and sometimes even torture or execution—because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We advocate for the principles…
News

Ban on Information About Sexual Orientation Would Endanger Youth

(New York) - Lithuania's parliament (the Seimas) should eliminate all discriminatory and repressive language in a new law designed to censor information available to children, Human Rights Watch said yesterday in a letter to a key lawmaker. It called on…