Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First overseas adoption in Denmark by Same-sex couple

Same-sex couples have been allowed to adopt as couples since 2010 in Denmark. However few countries allow overseas adoptions by same-sex couples so it is not until now that the first overseas adoption by a Danish gay couple has occurred.

Danish couple Rasmus Holm and Thomas Møller Lassen have adopted a nine-month-old South African girl, making them the first same-sex couple in Denmark to legally adopt a child from another country.

Denmark’s Equality Minister Manu Sareen said: "I hope that more couples are allowed to experience the great joy of being parents and to giving a child a good life".

Adoption by same-sex couples is legal in 16 countries and in some territories.

Rasmus and Thomas with their son

Monday, July 21, 2014

President Obama signs order protecting LGBT workers from employment discrimination

President Obama today has signed a new executive order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

"No current federal law adequately protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers from employment discrimination. This is both contrary to our values as Americans, and bad for business", a White House official said. 

The official added the change for federal contracting will impact some 24,000 companies with 28 million workers, or one-fifth of the U.S. workforce. Many large federal contractors already have employment policies barring anti-gay workplace discrimination, as do 21 states. However, the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School estimates that the executive order would extend protections to about 14 million workers whose employers or states currently do not have such nondiscrimination policies.

A poll conducted last fall by Republican pollster Alex Lundry showed that more than two-thirds of registered voters, including 56 percent of Republicans, support the protections of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Turkey's Supreme Court Recognizes Hate Speech against Gays for the First Time

For the first time, hate speech on the ground of sexual orientation has taken part among the decisions of the Turkey's Supreme Court. The Court acknowledged that calling gays “perverse” is hate speech.

The case was brought by attorney Sinem Hun against a local news website Habervaktim.com for publishing an article in which she was called "the lawyer of the association of the perverts called Kaos GL". Kaos is a Turkish LGBT rights group.

The Supreme Court ruled that the website could not be penalised as the attack had been committed against the organisation and therefore did not breach the rights of the individual attorney. However it acknowledged that the text constituted hate speech.

The highest Turkish Court supported its decision by claiming that: "Unless there is a call for violence or hate speech that might damage pluralistic democracy and might even destroy it, punishment which limits individuals’ freedom should be avoided".

Examining the decision of the Office of the Chief Prosecutor, the Supreme Court admitted that hate speech regarding sexual tendencies are as serious as hate speech on the grounds of “race, ethnicity or color”. This decision is also a first in the Supreme Court cases on hate speech.

LGBT activist march in Istanbul