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Police, Judicial Officers Should End Arbitrary Arrests, Torture of LGBT People

(Colombo) – Sri Lankan authorities have subjected at least seven people to forced physical examinations since 2017 in an attempt to provide proof of homosexual conduct, Human Rights Watch and EQUAL GROUND said today. The exams, which include forced…
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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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On February 10, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) will address Australia’s parliament. Indonesia is often referred to as the democratic success story of Southeast Asia and a model of Muslim democracy, yet it has been responsible…
LGBT activists protest the planned revision to Indonesia’s criminal code outside parliament in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 12, 2018.
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Editor's Note: On September 6, in a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court decriminalised same-sex relations, through the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Chief justice Misra described Section 377 as “irrational, indefensible and manifestly…
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Summary Every day I fear for my safety living in this country because of my sexual orientation. I am alive but if anyone ever find out and wanted to find out, they can kill me …I am an easy target for anything. —Peter, Dominica,…
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Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
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At first glance, 2017 seems to have been a good year for marriage equality the world over. But the year ends on a negative note. Let’s start in Europe. In Germany and Malta, two European Union member states, legislation came…
Same-sex couple get married at a registry office in Germany.
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In November 2015, I sat in a small circle of plastic chairs outside a rustic hotel in Sri Lanka’s coastal town of Ambalangoda. Against a backdrop of fruit trees and waves lapping the shore I listened to horrific stories from six gay, bisexual, and…
Sashini, a transgender woman in Colombo, has formally petitioned the National Human Rights Commission to urge the government to recognize her as female by issuing her official documents that reflect her livedgender. © 2016 Samantha
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.
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Parliament Should Adopt a Marriage Equality Bill Without Delay

(Sydney) – The Australian government should introduce marriage equality legislation without delay, following results of the national postal survey in favor of marriage equality, Human Rights Watch said today. 61.6 percent of respondents…
Marchers hold signs and banners as they participate in a marriage equality march in central Sydney, Australia on October 21, 2017.
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The Australian government will let people “have their say” on same-sex marriage. The Australian High Court ruled Thursday that the government’s postal plebiscite can proceed, so next week ballots will arrive by mail, asking voters: “Should the law be…
Activists stand next to a banner as they listen to speeches during a rally supporting same-sex marriage in Sydney, Australia May 31, 2015.
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Vitriolic Poster Campaign Mars Planned Nationwide Poll

On Monday morning, my friend Michael in Melbourne woke up and looked out the window to check the weather. Instead, what caught his eye was a poster on the street that had been put up overnight. It screamed at him, “STOP THE FAGS,” and contained a string…
Anti-same-sex marriage poster in Australia.
News

LGBTI People Come Out in Force for Mardi Gras Parades

Around the world, staying closeted – invisible and silent – is the only form of protection for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people. Paradoxically, staying quiet and invisible also makes LGBTI people vulnerable. …
Participants dance with hula hoops during the 2014 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, Australia, March 1, 2014.
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Geneva Resolution Should Be Implemented Promptly and Transparently

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s government should ensure greater transparency and progress in meeting its undertakings to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch said in its 2017 World Report. The president and other senior officials have…
Women conduct a silent protest to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Colombo, August 30, 2016.
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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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Australian Plebiscite on Same-sex Marriage is an Attack on Minority Rights

The Australian government wants people to “have their say” on same-sex marriage. It is planning a plebiscite on February 11, 2017 that will ask voters, “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” Well, in that case, should a…
Activists stand next to a banner as they listen to speeches during a rally supporting same-sex marriage in Sydney, Australia May 31, 2015.
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Summary All five fingers are not the same…. People should be respected for who they are. —Thehan, 43-year-old gay man, Colombo, November 2015 In Sri Lanka, there are two frames: man and woman. Society thinks that if you’re born as a man,…
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Transgender people and others who don’t conform to social expectations about gender face discrimination and abuse in Sri Lanka, including arbitrary detention, mistreatment, and discrimination accessing employment, housing, and health care. These abuses…