LGBTI News and Politics

Archive for August, 2013

Moldovan Authorities Clarify Ambiguity of Article 90’1


Coat of arms of Moldavian SSR (1990-1991), tod...

Coat of arms of Moldavian SSR (1990-1991), today the coat of arms of Moldova (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

GENDERDOC-M Information Centre | ILGA-Europe | August 6, 2013

GENDERDOC-M Information Centre welcomes the explanations and measures to be taken by Moldovan authorities following the adoption of the ambiguous Law Nr.117 on Completing the Contravention Code with Article 901 “Public activities with negative impact on minors”, which entered in force on 12 July 2013. Following the appeal from the group of civil society organisations, coalitions and international structures to the Government to repeal the part of Article 901 regarding “propagation of […] any other relations than those related to marriage or family in accordance with the Constitution and the Family Code”, Moldova’s Government has provided a clear response to what extent the Article may be applied and what measures will be taken to eradicate its ambiguity.

Prior to its adoption, the Government had given a negative opinion on the respective draft amendment because of the last part of the paragraph 2 referring to the “the other relations…” The reason was that the amendment doesn’t comply with the criteria to be concise, unambiguous and clear as it is required by current Moldovan legislation on adoption of legislative acts. In its response, Government informs the stakeholders that “after the adoption of the Law, the Ombudsman reiterated the concern about the fact that the norms of legislative technique were not respected”.

GENDERDOC-M welcomes the Ombudsman’s explanatory report from 30 July 2013 signaling to the Parliament the need to initiate the procedure of revision and amendment of the above mentioned law, especially the provision regarding “some other relations”.

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EU leaders must confront President Putin on the human rights crisis in Russia


United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

United Nations Human Rights Council logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ILGA-Europe | August 29, 2013

The EU leaders should hold President Putin accountable for the current clampdown on civil society during the G20 meeting which is taking place on the 5-6 September in St. Petersburg, Russia.

We also call on Baroness Ashton, EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, to put the Russian human rights crisis firmly on her agenda.

Yesterday, ILGA-Europe together with a number of Russian and international human rights organisations launched the campaign “Keep Hope Alive” highlighting the deteriorating human rights situation and escalating clamp down on civil society. The campaign calls on world leaders to raise these issues and challenge the Russian government demanding they reverse the current trend and to observe and respect Russia’s international human rights commitments and obligations.

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Singapore: Gay man seeks court declaration that gays are equally protected under the constitution


Fridae

Fridae (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sylvia Tan | Fridae News | August 23, 2013

A gay man, who had brought a suit against his former employer last year claiming that he was harassed to leave his job because he is gay, has today filed an application at the High Court for constitutional protection against workplace discrimination of gay men.

A senior executive, who had previously brought a suit against his former employer in 2012, has filed a new case seeking a court declaration that Article 12 of the Constitution which guarantees all persons equal protection of the law will also apply to gay men. Article 12(2) currently states that “…there shall be no discrimination against citizens of Singapore on the ground only of religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law…”

Lawrence Wee

Last year, Wee Kim San Lawrence Bernard brought a suit against his former employer Robinsons, a well-known chain store in Singapore, alleging he was harassed into leaving his job because he is gay and discriminated against on the grounds of his sexual orientation.

Today, Wee, who is represented by human rights lawyer M Ravi, made an application to the High Court for a declaration that the Constitution of Singapore prohibits discrimination against homosexual men on account of their sexual orientation in the course of employment.

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Good News for Millions: Same-Sex Married Couples Get Federal Tax Recognition Regardless of State of Residence


Logo of the Internal Revenue Service

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alyssa Figueroa | AlterNet | August 29, 2013

When it comes to taxes, the federal government will now recognize all legally married same-sex couples regardless of their current state of residence, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced Thursday.

Before the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June, the Internal Revenue Service did not recognize same-sex marriages for tax purposes.

But today, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew  said in a statement:

Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax-filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. … This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.

The ruling applies to “all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, including filing status, claiming personal and dependency exemptions, taking the standard deduction, employee benefits, contributing to an I.R.A., and claiming the earned income tax credit or child tax credit.”

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All Married Gay Couples to Get Tax Breaks: IRS


U.S. Supreme Court, 1998.

U.S. Supreme Court, 1998. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brett Snider, Esq. | Findlaw | August 30, 2013

Same-sex married couples can file as “married” on their federal taxes no matter what state they live in, the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department clarified on Thursday.

This official announcement was prompted by the recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion that struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The ruling requires the federal government to recognize legally married same-sex couples as married for taxes and other federal benefits, reports The Huffington Post.

What changes does this bring for the 2013 tax year?

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Judge: VA Can’t Deny Benefits to Lesbian Army Vet


Associated Press | South Florida Gay News | August 30, 2013

LOS ANGELES — A judge in Los Angeles ruled Thursday that a lesbian Army veteran […]

LOS ANGELES — A judge in Los Angeles ruled Thursday that a lesbian Army veteran and her spouse should be entitled to disability benefits given the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall said that a federal code defining a spouse as a person of the opposite sex is unconstitutional “under rational basis scrutiny” since the high court’s decision allowing legally married gay couples the right to health care benefits.

“The court finds that the exclusion of spouses in same-sex marriages from veterans’ benefits is not rationally related to the goal of gender equality,” in the code, Marshall wrote in her four-page ruling.

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Russia is now scapegoating Jews in its battle against gays


Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

| America Blog | August 30, 2013

It was only a matter of time before Jews were scapegoated in Russia’s growing crackdown on its gay and trans citizens.  That time has sadly arrived.

I had reported yesterday on the growing international concern over Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev.

In a nutshell, over the past two weeks an increasingly erratic series of Facebook posts, tweets, emails, and at least one op ed, have been published in Alexeyev’s name.  Not only has the content of the messages directly contradicted Alexeyev’s previous positions on Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, but the messages have become increasingly hostile, erratic, and now, anti-Semitic.

Things got so bad that Facebook appears to have closed down Alexeyev’s account after a status update, issued in Alexeyev’s name, named two American gay activists as pedophiles, based on no apparent proof.

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