London, 23 December 2013

On 20 December 2013, the Ugandan Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, after it was unexpectedly scheduled for a vote when the majority of MPs were not present. The Bill, which makes same-sex sexual conduct an offence punishable by life imprisonment, was passed in Parliament despite Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi expressing concern that there was not a quorum. The news is the latest blow for the equality of all regardless of sexual orientation around the globe, and demonstrates the level of discrimination and prejudice faced by homosexuals in Uganda.

London, 25 April 2013

Three states have recently joined the progressive trend towards recognising in law the equal right to marry regardless of sexual orientation. On 10 April 2013, Uruguay became the second country in South America to legalise same-sex marriage, after Argentina. On 18 April 2013 New Zealand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so. And on 23 April 2013, France became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage. In Uruguay and New Zealand new legislation permitting same-sex marriage was passed by an overwhelming majority of parliamentary votes whilst in France the legislation proved extremely divisive, with numerous protests and a closer vote of 331-225.

London, 28 February 2013
On 5 February, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013 (the Bill) received its Second Reading in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. The Bill opens up access to the institution of marriage to same sex couples through civil ceremonies and allows religious organisations to “opt in” to conducting same sex marriage. In a submission to the Parliamentary Committee (the Committee) considering the Bill, The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has welcomed the Bill, but called on the Committee to make further improvements.

London, 3 December 2012The Human Rights Committee in a communication issued during its 106th session found the Russian Federation to have acted in violation of Articles 19 (Freedom of Expression) and 26 (Prohibition of Discrimination) of the ICCPR. The case concerned the treatment of LGBT human rights activist Irina Fedotova, who was arrested by the police and fined by a Russian Administrative Court on grounds that she breached legislation on “public actions aimed at the propaganda of homosexuality among minors” after having displayed posters promoting tolerance towards homosexuality near a local school.

London, 24 May 2012 
On 9 May 2012, the Argentine Senate unanimously passed the Gender Identity Act. The new law has been hailed as the most progressive and liberal in the world. Recognising that a person's subjectively felt and self-defined gender may or may not correspond with the gender assigned at birth, the Law establishes the right to change one's registered gender and name on demand, without requiring any form of medical procedure or hormone therapy as a pre-condition. 

London, 21 May 2012

The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has urged the government of the Republic of Moldova to call a halt to the process of adopting a draft Law on Equal Opportunities (the Draft Law). In a letter to Moldovan Prime Minister, Vlad Filat, of 17 May, ERT recommended critical amendments to the Draft Law in order to ensure that it is consistent with Moldova’s obligations under international law.

On 12 December 2011, the Pakistani Parliament passed the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill and the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill. Both Bills provide for amendments to be made to the Pakistan Penal Code 1860. The amendments seek to protect women and children against acid attacks and prevent other practices which discriminate against women, including forced marriages.

On 28 November 2011, the Bangladeshi Parliament (Jatiya Sangsad) passed the Vested Properties Return (Amendment) Bill 2011 (The Bill), reported BSS News (the National News Agency of Bangladesh).  The new legislation provides for the return of property seized under the Enemy Property Act 1968 (the 1968 Act).   

London 11 November 2011

The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has responded today to the Commission on a Bill of Rights Discussion Paper entitled Do we need a UK Bill of Rights? The Commission was established to investigate the creation of a UK Bill of Rights and this Discussion Paper marked the beginning of the process of public consultation on this issue.