London, 5 October 2011
The repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gay men and lesbians serving in the United States military came into effect on 20 September 2011, allowing members of the armed forces in the USA to openly acknowledge their sexuality for the first time. The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 was enacted in December 2010, repealing a law which has resulted in the dismissal of more than 12,500 service members in 17 years.
London, 4 August 2011
On 26 July 2011 the lower house of the Italian Parliament voted against legislation to protect victims of homophobic and transphobic hate crime. The legislation was rejected by 293 votes to 250. The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) is concerned about this failure to implement important aspects of the right to equality. 
The rejection of the Bill came despite reports of increasing attacks on LGBT persons in Italy.

London, 27 June 2011 

On 13 June 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States of America failed, in the case of Flores-Villar v United States U.S. 564 (2001), to recognise the discriminatory character of a nationality law that creates an unfair double standard which makes it more difficult for males, and particularly minors, to transmit their U.S. citizenship to their children born abroad and out of wedlock to foreign mothers. 

London, 6 June 2011 
On 24 May 2011, as reported in a joint press release by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the National Dalit Commission, the Parliament of Nepal passed the Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act (the Act), two years after the bill was originally placed before it. 

On 8 April 2010, the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament passed the Equality Act 2010. The Act harmonises existing equality law which previously had been spread across numerous separate pieces of legislation.

On 24 March 2010, the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009 came into force. The Act, which was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 3 June 2009, creates new statutory offences to protect victims who are targeted because of their disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

On 24 February 2010, Albanian President Bamir Topi signed Law No. 10 221 “On Protection from Discrimination” adopted by the Albanian parliament earlier this month. The entry into force of this law is a significant step forward for the protection of equality and non-discrimination in Albania. 

The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has submitted a legal brief to Ugandan President Yowere Museveni outlining how adoption of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently being debated would breach both Uganda’s Constitution and its international treaty obligations. 

ERT’s submission calls on President Museveni and Ugandan parliamentarians to reject the Bill in its entirety, and to review the constitutionality of section 145 of the Ugandan Penal Code, which is currently used to prosecute homosexual conduct. 

Yesterday, US President Barack Obama signed new legislation which extends federal hate crime law to cover crimes motivated by actual or perceived gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act – named in recognition of two victims murdered on the basis of their sexual orientation – was first introduced to Congress in 2001. It was finally approved by 68 votes to 29 by the US Senate as an amendment to the 2010 Defense Authorization Act on 22 October 2009.