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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…
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India’s parliament passed a bill to protect transgender rights last week, but the new law is inadequate on several fronts. Trans activists and allied human rights groups have critiqued the various trans rights bills since the first one…
Participants hold placards during a protest demanding an end to what they say is discrimination and violence against the transgender community, in Bengaluru, India October 21, 2016.
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More than two centuries ago Mary Wollstonecraft laid the foundations for feminist thought with a simple premise: lack of equal opportunity diminished individual self-worth and hobbled social progress. In A Vindication of the Rights of…
Indian members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community celebrate the Supreme Court decision to strike down a colonial-era ban on gay sex, in Kolkata on September 6, 2018.
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In a historic ruling, India’s Supreme Court struck down parts of a colonial-era law that criminalised homosexuality. Jayshree Bajoria spoke to Arif Jafar, an LGBT activist who was arrested under section 377 and spent 47 days in prison…
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  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.
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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.
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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.
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In the hit Indian film Kal Ho Na Ho, a housekeeper finds her charge and his male buddy horsing around and — assuming that they are in a relationship — faints with shock. Despite several serious gay-themed movies made in India, mainstream cinema tends to…
Gay rights activists hold placards as they shout slogans during a protest against a verdict by the Supreme Court in New Delhi December 15, 2013.
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Jurist Guest Columnists Anneke Meerkotter of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Graeme Reid of Human Rights Watch discuss how recent court rulings in Botswana, Kenya and Zambia illustrate significant progress in human rights in general and in LGBT…
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Nearly one year after the Supreme Court's landmark decision on transgender people in India, the country still faces problems enforcing the ruling. DW spoke with Jayshree Bajoria about the state of these rights reforms. In April 2014, India's highest court…
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For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people the law is a paradox. The law can operate as an instrument of repression and control, but also as a tool for resistance and liberation. We find fragments of our collective histories in court records…
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When Uganda's Constitutional Court declared the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act "null and void" on August 1, the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community and human rights activists breathed a collective sigh of relief…
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Uganda’s constitutional court took a positive step when it ruled today that the dreaded Anti-Homosexuality Act is unconstitutional. The judges ruled on procedure rather than substance – they said the lack of quorum in parliament on the day of the vote…
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In February, President Obama announced that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s signing  the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law would “complicate our valued relationship with Uganda.” On June 19, the US finally announced what those “complications” look like…
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A 26-year-old mobile technician and taxi driver from Aleppo was kept for 23 days in an ice cream factory-turned-detention center, where he was physically and verbally abused. He’d been picked up at a checkpoint by the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front and…
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The candidates may disagree on some human rights issues, but the next president will face challenges that transcend partisan lines. How might tomorrow's presidential election affect U.S. policy on human rights? The common wisdom is that unlike their sharp…