IBA Annual Conference in Paris – LGBTQI+ Law Committee panels

A conference report on the IBA LGBTQI+ Law Committee panels at the IBA Annual Conference in Paris, October–November 2023.

Released on Nov 22, 2023

Proposed workplace fairness legislation in Singapore leaves LGBTQI+ employees unprotected

The Singapore government has recently announced that it will introduce a workplace anti-discrimination legislation in Parliament in the second half of 2024. Unfortunately, the proposed anti-discrimination legislation excludes prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).

Released on Aug 28, 2023

France adopts new law prohibiting conversion therapies

At the beginning of 2023, France joined a handful of countries by adopting a specific law prohibiting practices aimed at modifying a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, creating a criminal offence, with a clear definition and scope of conversion therapies. The Public Health Code was also amended accordingly.

Released on Aug 28, 2023

Marriage equality and Indian employment law

The movement towards securing rights for the LGBTQI+ community in India has been a subject of both progress and challenges. For years, the LGBTQI+ community has strived to attain recognition, equality and non-discrimination. In recent years, there has been tremendous progress in recognising rights of LGBTQI+people in India, and a growing awareness of the importance of inclusivity and diversity.

Released on Aug 28, 2023

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Hansman v Neufeld

This article discusses a defamation lawsuit around an initiative to equip educators with resources to teach students about sexual orientation and gender identity in the jurisdiction of Canada.

Released on Aug 28, 2023

Brazil’s General Data Protection Law and diversity and inclusion initiatives in the legal sector

This article discusses the interactions between diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives within organisations, particularly those focused on the LGBTQI+ community and legal obligations related to the protection of personal data and sensitive personal data.

Released on Aug 28, 2023

A ray of hope: proposed decriminalisation of LGBTQI+ rights in Sri Lanka

As the law currently stands in Sri Lanka, there is no direct constitutional protection granting equality to the LGBTQI+ community, and sections 365 and 365A of the Penal Code penalise same-sex relationships. These laws, along with cultural and social stigmas, result in the LGBTQI+ community in Sri Lanka facing all forms of discrimination. Against this background, LGBTQI+ rights activists in Sri Lanka have been campaigning for years to change the discriminatory laws.

Released on Aug 28, 2023

Singapore repeals section 377A: A bittersweet victory

This article looks at Singapore’s recent decision to repeal section 377a of the Penal Code, thus decriminalising same-sex conduct between men, and the subsequent statement from the government on whether the definition of marriage will change following the repeal.

Released on Sep 20, 2022

Civil Partnership Bill in Thailand: an update

This article provides an update to the Civil Partnership in Thailand, which was approved earlier this month by the Thai Cabinet. It will allow same-sex couples to register their partnership, along with other legal amendments.

Released on Jul 4, 2022

Fleeing persecution: experience of LGBTI asylum seekers in Australia

In many societies, many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people are subject to serious human rights abuses for not conforming to culturally established norms on sexuality or gender. As a result, LGBTI asylum seekers are prone to facing complex challenges arising from discrimination, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in their country of origin.

Is Mexico City really an oasis for LGBTI rights? Conversion therapy ban and LGBTI political rights as recent trends

This article looks at LGBTI rights in Mexico City, and LGBTI political rights and the ban on conversion therapy as recent trends.

IBA Officers participate in anti-discrimination event held by National Bar Council of Italy

In late 2020, the National Bar Council of Italy (known as the Consiglio Nazionale Forense, or ‘CNF’), the public institution that represents lawyers in Italy, launched a project to study and combat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or race. The project marks the first major institutional drive by the CNF to focus on this area in Italy.

From the Editor, LGBTI Law Committee, April 2021

A message from the Editor of the LGBTI Law Committee, April 2021.

Northern Ireland – the journey to legalising same-sex marriage

On 22 May 2015 the Government of the Republic of Ireland held a referendum to amend the Irish Constitution and legalise same-sex marriage. This amendment was approved by 62 per cent of the electorate (with 38 per cent voting against it) and therefore a country that was widely considered to be historically conservative became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote.

Japan: a different Valentine’s Day story

On 17 March 2021, the Sapporo District Court handed down what is considered by many as a historic landmark ruling establishing that it is unconstitutional to bar same-sex marriage.

The evolution of queer equality in the United States post-US v Windsor

By Ally Bolour. Queer equality, though a global goal, is a journey best travelled locally. The United States remains a leader in this march, yet our community experiences multiple and often daily challenges in our attempt to reach our destination. The separation of state and church is enshrined in the US Constitution, yet too often, we witness courts and governments apply exceptions to this supreme law of the land. We must remain vigilant and vocal as we march forward to true equality.

Countering the regional trend of recognising the equal enjoyment of socio-economic and fundamental rights for the LGBT community

Countering the regional trend of recognising the equal enjoyment of socio-economic and fundamental rights for the LGBT community, a recent judgment by the Hong Kong Court of First Instance in MK v The Government of HKSAR [2019] 5 HKLRD 259 held that same-sex unions did not engage the right of marriage and that there was no positive obligation on the part of the authorities to confer the same or similar status to same-sex unions as traditional marriages. This article explores the reasoning and rationale

Australian Religious Discrimination Bill 2019: a cloak to permit lawful discrimination against sexuality & gender-diverse people

The Australian Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 – A Cloak to Permit Lawful Discrimination against Sexuality and Gender Diverse Individuals – A Reminder of Australia’s International Law Obligations.

LGBTI rights in the Philippines are in limbo

By Lloyd Nicholas Vergara. LGBTI Rights in the Philippines are in Limbo.

Where does Thailand stand in terms of LGBTI rights and interests in enterprises, employment, immigration and property relations?

Asian Values and Legal Systems: Where does Thailand Stand in Terms of LGBTI Rights and Interests in Enterprises, Employment, Immigration, Property Relations and Related Matters?

The constitutional right to marry: the Cayman Islands

By David Ryken. The Constitutional Right to Marry: The Cayman Islands - LGBTI Committee newsletter article, May 2020.

The people will be ready: experiencing LGBTQ+ activism in Paraguay

In this first-person narrative, William (Bill) Singer, LGBTQ+ activist and lawyer, relays his experience meeting with Paraguayan LGBTQ+ activists and learning first-hand the barriers holding them back from gaining equality under the law in their country.

LGBTQIA+ rights in South Africa

The article explores how far South Africa has come in providing protection for LGBTQIA+ individuals. South Africa has made noteworthy progressions in LGBTQIA+ rights since 1996. From prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, to the numerous cases in which courts have taken steps to provide protection to same-sex life partners, and the birth of the Civil Union Act, which provides for same-sex partners to get married.

In review: the LGBTI Law Committee at the 2019 IBA Annual Conference in Seoul

By Lloyd Nicholas Vergara and Ruwani Dantanarayan. In Review: the LGBTI Law Committee at the 2019 IBA Annual Conference in Seoul

Overview on employment law protection for members of the Chinese LGBTI group

Under Chinese employment laws and regulations, although it is hard for an outsider to identify specific and lucid provisions in the field of labour and employment for sexual and gender minorities, the needs of legal protection for Chinese LGBTI individuals cannot be neglected. This paper will briefly introduce legislation and legal practices that we found as providing protections for the Chinese LGBTI Group in the field of employment and labour, and provide an overview for employment issues faced by sexual

Editor’s Note, May 2020

Editor’s Note - LGBTI Committee newsletter article, May 2020