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Australia: Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes

(Dec. 13, 2017) On December 7, 2017, the Australian House of Representatives (lower house) voted to pass the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, which legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide, with only four members voting against the legislation. (Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA (last visited Dec. 7, 2017).) […]

Austria: Same-Sex Couples Allowed to Get Married Starting January 2019

(Dec. 12, 2017) On December 4, 2017, the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof Österreich, VfGH) struck down the provisions of the Civil Code and the Registered Partnership Act that restrict marriage to persons of different sexes and registered partnerships to persons of the same sex, respectively.  The Court held that the provisions violate the prohibition of […]

New Zealand: Paid Parental Leave to Be Extended to 26 Weeks by 2020

(Dec. 5, 2017) On November 30, 2017, the New Zealand Parliament voted to pass legislation that will see the current paid parental leave entitlement of 18 weeks extended in two stages: to 22 weeks from July 1, 2018, and then to 26 weeks from July 1, 2020.  (Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill, PARLIAMENT […]

Brazil: New Rules Approved for Assisted Reproduction

(Nov. 20, 2017) The Brazilian Federal Council of Medicine (Conselho Federal de Medicina, CFM) approved on November 9, 2017, Resolution No. 2.168, which updates the rules for the use of assisted reproduction techniques. (Resolução CFM No. 2.168/2017, DIÁRIO OFICIAL DA UNIÃO [OFFICIAL GAZETTE OF THE UNION] 73 (Nov. 10, 2017), CFM website; Reprodução Assistida: CFM Anuncia […]

Austria/European Court of Human Rights: No Discrimination If Heterosexual Couple Is Denied Access to Registered Partnership

(Nov. 16, 2017) On October 26, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held in a five to two decision that there is no violation of article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) when registered […]

Bahrain: Women’s Rights Activists Launch Campaign to Amend Citizenship Law

(Oct. 31, 2017) The Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS), in conjunction with other Bahrain women’s rights groups and various Members of Parliament (MPs) and the business community, has launched a campaign to extend equal citizenship rights to women by amending a provision of the country’s citizenship law.  (Huge Support for Gender Equality in Bahrain’s […]

European Union: National Legislation Prohibiting Extension of Probationary Period for Civil Servants on Parental Leave Ruled Incompatible with EU Law

(Oct. 4, 2017) On September 7, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the provision of the Civil Service Act of the German state of Berlin that prohibited extension of the two-year probationary period of a civil servant appointed to a managerial post, even when the civil servant was on parental leave for […]

Turkey: Bill Authorizing Muftis to Perform Civil Marriages and Amending Civil Registration Rules

(Oct. 2, 2017) On July 25, 2017, the Turkish government submitted draft legislation to the Grand National Assembly (Turkey’s parliament) containing a controversial provision that would grant muftis – Sunni civil servants employed in the country’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) – the authority to perform civil marriages. (Mahmut Bozarslan, Bill Allowing Turkish Muftis to […]

Tunisia: Government Lifts Ban on Inter-Religious Marriages

(Sept. 19, 2017) On September 14, 2017, the Tunisian government lifted a ban on inter-religious marriages between Muslim Tunisian females and non-Muslim males. (Tunisia Lifts Ban on Muslim Women Marrying Non-Muslims, AL JAZEERA (Sept. 14, 2017).) This measure was issued by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.  During his speech on the national Women’s Day that […]

Israel: High Court Rejects Petition to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

(Sept. 11, 2017) On August 31, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, unanimously rejected a petition by Israel’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Task Force and individual petitioners. Petitioners had requested that the Court  recognize same-sex marriages and declare that sections 1-2 of the Rabbinical Court Jurisdiction Law, 5713-1953, […]