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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…
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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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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

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

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…
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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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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.
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Recent reports that the Netherlands is considering accepting some current Guantanamo detainees for resettlement is good news for the detainees and good news for the Netherlands. If the deal goes through it would provide some detainees who have been…
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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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”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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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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In less than half a year, the city of Sochi will host the Olympic Winter Games 2014. The eyes of the world are increasingly focused on Russia and its deteriorating human rights situation. This gives those in position of influence with the Olympic movement…