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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

Government Offers Compensation for Unwanted Surgeries

The Dutch government has apologized to transgender people for previously mandating surgeries, including sterilization, as a prerequisite for legal gender recognition. During a Cabinet meeting this week, government officials also announced plans to…
The Dutch flag flies at the parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017.
News

Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

People whose identities do not fit into a rigid female/male gender binary have, in many countries, been on a years-long quest to obtain official documents that reflect their identities by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M…
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Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

Dana Zzymm, an intersex and nonbinary US citizen, has been on a years-long quest to obtain a passport that reflects their identity by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M.” They sued to compel the US State…
201911US_lgbt_rights
News

Move Raises Questions of When Gender Markers Are Necessary

The Dutch government will no longer include gender markers on national identification documents (IDs) in the next five years, a move that balances the potential harms – such as harassment, discrimination, and violence – that requiring people to…
The Dutch flag flies at the parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017.
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.
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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

Ruling Hailed as Major Victory by Intersex and Transgender Activists

A Dutch court has found that the exclusive option of ‘male’ or ‘female’ on official documents -  including birth certificates - is too restrictive and should be revised, a ruling being praised by intersex and transgender activists. …
Dutch court: A 'green light' is needed for a gender neutral option in official documents.
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

Two Men Injured in Latest Attack

A gay couple was walking home in a provincial town, holding hands. They encountered a group of youths who started shouting homophobic slurs, then beat up the two men. One man was hit with a bolt cutter in the face and lost four teeth. Both received blows…
A rainbow over a typical Dutch shopping street in Amsterdam.
News
Michel Togué, a lawyer in the African country of Cameroon, has received death threats for defending lesbians and gays. This one, like the others, came anonymously  “We know that your wife is now shopping in the mall. We know your children are…
Boris Dittrich presents Alice Nkom and Michel Togue with prestigious Dutch Geuzenpenning Award, March 13, 2017.
News

As activists push for change in the notoriously homophobic region, Aruba takes a big step in the right direction.

A decade ago, I was confronted with a massive display of homophobia. At the time I was a member of the Dutch parliament visiting the island of Aruba, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. I was with members of parliament from the…
News

The eyes of the world are on Australia as politicians consider whether to support marriage equality

Next week, a marriage equality bill is likely to be introduced in the Australian Parliament. It will no doubt produce the same kind of intense discussions and soul searching as in the 18 other countries that have passed these laws.   …
Peter Lemke, Frank Wittebrood, Ton Jansen, Louis Rogmans, Helene Faasen, Anne-Marie Thus, Dolf Pasker and Geert Kasteel cut the cake after their wedding ceremony in the town hall of Amsterdam on April 1, 2001.
News
”The state should stay out of my underwear. Why should I let my healthy body be operated upon, only because the law requires me to do so?” This was one of the responses to Human Rights Watch when we researched human rights violations of transgender people…
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Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland Improving Gender Recognition Laws

(Berlin) – The Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland have moved to improve the rights of transgender people. However, each country retains some requirements that undermine the right of transgender people to have their identity reflected in law. On July 1,…