The United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that Russia’s application of the Ryazan region anti ‘homosexual propaganda’ law against LGBT rights activist Irina Fedotova to be in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on the grounds of freedom of expression and discrimination.
The ICJ intervened on behalf of the claimant in Genderdoc-M v Republic of Moldova, a case concerning permission to stage a demonstration in support of laws protecting sexual minorities. The ICJ gave an authoritative opinion on the validity of limitation provisions in limiting the rights of LGBT persons, stating that ‘the protection of morals, commonly referred to as public morality, is not and can never be an objective and reasonable justification under Article 14 [ECHR, the right to equality]...Public morality cannot serve to justify a distinction in treatment under the prohibition on discrimination.’
The European Court of Human Rights found that by prohibiting a demonstration promoting the interests of the LGBT community, Moldova had violated its obligations under Articles 11 (freedom of assembly or association), 13 (right to an effective remedy), and 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Human Dignity Trust’s submission on the Draft Commonwealth Charter. The opinion concludes that in failing to make reference to sexual orientation, the draft Charter does not explicitly reflect international human rights standards. The absence of any privacy rights will further undermine efforts to address discriminatory so-called “anti-sodomy” laws.
The case related to the custody process brought before the Chilean court by the father of three girls against their mother, Karen Atala Riffo. The Chilean Court found that Ms Atala’s sexual orientation and her co-habitation with her same-sex partner would cause harm to the three girls, and granted custody to the father. At the Inter-American Court she argued that in the course of the judicial process she had suffered discriminatory treatment and arbitrary interference in her private and family life. The Court ruled that ‘the Chilean state had violated Karen Atala Riffo’s right to live free from discrimination’. The Court urged Chile to make reparations and to adopt legislation, policies and programmes to prohibit and eradicate discrimination based on sexual orientation.
This case concerned prohibitions on LGBT pride marches. The Russian government contended that the ban had the legitimate aim of maintaining public order and protecting public morals. The European Court of Human Rights rejected this argument and held that the ban violated the applicant’s right to freedom of assembly and association under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court also rejected the government’s contention that allowances should be made for the strong cultural opposition towards homosexuality in Russia.