Mexico City becomes first jurisdiction in country to outlaw conversion therapy

Mexico City becomes first jurisdiction in country to outlaw conversion therapy

The Mexico City Congress has approved a bill reforming the city’s penal code to criminalize conversion therapy.

The reform seeks to penalize practitioners of conversion therapy, and the relevant provision in the Code specifies “the criminalization of contracts, treatments, therapies or services, tasks or activities that pretend to correct the sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression that undermines free self-determination.”

Conversion therapy is intended to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. It employs practices that range from psychological counseling to those of a religious nature to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and minors are especially vulnerable.

According to the bill that was approved in a special session on Friday, forcing someone to undergo the therapy is punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, and a longer period where a minor is forced to undergo it.

Temístocles Villaneuva, who led the proposal as a local representative of the MORENA party, had said earlier that the criminalization of the therapy will bring wider acceptance, greater security, lower violence and formal protection to the LGBT community.

The approval makes Mexico City the first jurisdiction in the country to outlaw the therapy. Mexico’s federal legislators are considering a nationwide ban, and the capital city’s move is being hailed as a positive step for the states in the country to follow.

The UN Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity had called for a global ban on conversion therapy during a Human Rights Council meeting earlier this month. While only a few countries (Germany, Malta, Ecuador, Brazil and Taiwan) have criminalized it so far, efforts are gaining momentum in the US (20 states and multiple cities have already banned it) and several other countries.

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New ECtHR cases about discrimination against same-sex couples in Poland

New ECHR cases about discrimination against same-sex couples in Poland

Posted: 24 Jul 2020 01:48 AM PDT (Paul Johnson)

The European Court of Human Rights has communicated seven new cases concerning sexual orientation discrimination in Poland. 

The cases all concern discrimination against same-sex couples that has resulted from their inability to gain legal recognition of their relationships in Poland. 

The cases, in summary, are as follows:

In Barbara Gabriela Starska v Poland, the applicant complains that she was prevented from changing her surname to that of her same-sex partner.

In Cecylia Przybyszewska and Others v Poland, five same-sex couples complain about their inability to enter into marriage or any other type of civil union recognising their relationships.

In Meszkes v Poland, the applicant complains that he and his same-sex partner had no possibility to formalise their relationship and, in consequence, after his partner’s death, he had to pay 20% inheritance tax, the highest rate, applicable for inheritance outside a family. 

In Rafał Grochulski v Poland, the applicant complains of the temporary impossibility of subscribing together with his same-sex life partner to a private life insurance scheme for couples.

In Marta Agnieszka Handzlik-Rosuł and Anna Katarzyna Rosuł v Poland, the applicants complain that their same-sex marriage contracted abroad was not recognised by the Polish authorities. 

In Katarzyna Formela and Sylwia Formela v Poland, the applicants complain that the Polish legal system does not allow them to marry or otherwise recognise their relationship and, in consequence, they were discriminated against in several sets of proceedings on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Furthermore, they complain that their same-sex marriage contracted abroad has not been recognised by the Polish authorities.
In Tomasz Szypuła v Poland and Jakub Urbanik and Jose Luis Alonso Rodriguez v Poland, the applicants complain about the Polish authorities’ refusal to issue marriage eligibility certificates that would enable them to have a same-sex marriage in Spain. 
These seven cases provide the Court with the fullest opportunity to consider the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, the lack of an alternative form of legal recognition of same-sex relationships, and the discrimination against same-sex couples created by granting certain rights and benefits to different-sex couples in Poland. 

http://echrso.blogspot.com/2020/07/new-echr-cases-about-discrimination.html

US State Department sanctions Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov

Further, the US implemented the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Moscow Mechanism, which allowed the US to “create a fact-finding mission into horrific reports of abuses against LGBTI persons, human rights defenders, members of the independent media, and other citizens who ran afoul of Mr. Kadyrov,” according to Pompeo’s statement.Further, the US implemented the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Moscow Mechanism, which allowed the US to “create a fact-finding mission into horrific reports of abuses against LGBTI persons, human rights defenders, members of the independent media, and other citizens who ran afoul of Mr. Kadyrov,” according to Pompeo’s statement.

International Law in Switzerland - Professor Andreas R Ziegler

US State Department sanctions Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions against Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on Monday due to human rights violations dating back more than a decade. Pompeo said the State Department has “extensive credible information that Kadyrov is responsible for numerous gross violations of human rights dating back more than a decade, including torture and extrajudicial killings.”

The statement expressed concern that Kadyrov is using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to perpetrate further human rights abuses.

The US has long been wary of Kadyrov’s human rights abuses. In 2017 Kadyrov ordered Chechen authorities to assemble men suspected of being gay or bisexual. Next, he allegedly subjected them to numerous human rights abuses, including torture. Kadyrov denied the accusation. Specifically, he said: “We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays. If there are any, take them…

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Russian court denies Madonna was fined $1 million for unapologetic queer rights speech on-stage in St Petersburg

Russian court denies Madonna was fined $1 million for unapologetic queer rights speech on-stage in St Petersburg

Madonna Russia

Read: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/07/22/madonna-russia-court-fine-mdna-tour-st-petersburg-lgbt-gay-rights-moskovsky/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PNnewsletter

Now, the Russian government has denied that the “Vogue” singer was ever fined.

Anti-LGBT+ groups in Russia tried to file a lawsuit against Madonna after the concert, which was even subject to a terror threat, but St Petersburg officials insisted that they dismissed the suit and that the singer was never fined.

The press service for the city’s courts told TASS: “In 2012, the Moskovsky District Court dismissed the lawsuit of activists against Madonna, which contained a demand for a fine of 333 million rubles (£3.7 million).”