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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

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

States Condemn Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) has unanimously adopted a resolution condemning human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, taking a crucial step to end the silence around violence against…
News

Same-Sex Partnerships Entitled to Health and Pension Benefits

The ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court on April 17 to extend pension benefits to same-sex partners sets an example for other countries in achieving equality for all, Human Rights Watch said today. After considering the arguments of domestic and…
News

Lawmakers Should Ensure Equal Protection for All Families

Romanian legislators should reject a change to the Family Code that would narrow the definition of marriage to one exclusively between a man and woman, Human Rights Watch said in a letter sent today to government officials. The measure would deprive many…
News
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…
News
(New York) – The Central Intelligence Agency secretly operated illegal prisons for terrorism suspects in multiple locations in Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005, according to a report released today by the Council of Europe, a European…