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Germany: Personal Status Act Must Allow Third Gender Option for Intersex People

(Nov. 20, 2017) In a decision published on November 8, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the Personal Status Act is incompatible with the German Basic Law, the country’s constitution, to the extent that it only allows the registration of a female or male gender at birth or no gender entry […]

Egypt: Draft Law Criminalizes Homosexuality

(Nov. 1, 2017) On October 25, 2017, members of the Council of Representatives (parliament) of Egypt proposed a draft law to criminalize what they describe as “acts of homosexuality.” Rayad Abdel Sattar, one of the Members of Parliament who submitted the draft law, stated that the main goal of the draft law is to constrain […]

United Nations: Rights Office Concerned About Arrests of LGBT Individuals

(Oct. 31, 2017) On October 13, 2017, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) held a press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, expressing concern about the arrests of more than 180 people, thought to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), in three countries: Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Indonesia. There were 80 […]

Sweden: Court Says Previous Sex Change Not a Bar to Second Change of Legal Gender Identity

(Oct. 11, 2017) On August 28, 2017, the Stockholm Court of Administrative Appeal found that a woman who was born male has the right to change her legal identity back to that of a man, even though she has female genitalia. The woman had undergone gender transformative surgery and sterilization in 2011, whereupon she became […]

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, […]

Canada: Senate Passes Landmark Transgender Rights Bill

(Sept. 11, 2017) On June 15, 2017, the Transgender Rights Bill C-16 passed the third reading in the Senate of Canada, with a 67-11 vote.  (Phil Heidenreich, Senate Passes Bill C-16 Which Defends Transgender Rights, GLOBAL NEWS (June 16 2017).)  The bill officially became law on June 19, when royal assent to it was granted. […]

Germany: Criminal Rehabilitation for Men Convicted After 1945 for Homosexual Acts

(Aug. 9, 2017) On July 22, 2017, an act entered into force in Germany that criminally rehabilitates men who were convicted in the Federal Republic of Germany and in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) after May 8, 1945, for performing consensual homosexual acts. The criminal convictions are automatically annulled.  Upon request, the person’s […]

Taiwan: Constitutional Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Unconstitutional

(June 5, 2017) On May 24, 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court announced J.Y. Interpretation No. 748, which rules that the prohibition of same-sex marriage in the current Civil Code violates the Constitution. (Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748 and Reasons (May 24, 2017), Judicial Yuan website (in Chinese) (click on the first PDF link); Press Release, On the Same […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Rules All Couples Have the Same Inheritance Rights

(May 17, 2017) In a ruling issued on May 10, 2017, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) determined that, for the purpose of inheritance rights, “stable unions” and marriages have the same legal value, providing partners in stable unions the same rights as those of  married persons.  (STF, Recurso Extraordinário (RE) 646721, […]

Finland: Gender Neutral Marriage Act Enters Into Force

(Mar. 2, 2017) On March 1, 2017, the Finnish Marriage Act became gender neutral as amendments to the Act entered into force.  (Äktenskapslag [Marriage Act] (Finsk författningssamling [FFS] 13.6.1929/234), FINLEX.)  The amending Act was adopted on February 20, 2015.  (Lag om ändring av äktenskapslagen [Act on Amendment of the Marriage Act] (FFS 20.2.2015/156249), FINLEX.) Registered […]