Japan court issues first ruling on same-sex marriage rights
- The Sapporo District Court found the government’s failure to recognize same-sex marriage violates Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees equality under the law.
- Six plaintiffs had also sought damages for the lack of extension of marriage rights, which the court did not grant.
- While homosexuality has been decriminalized in Japan since the late 19th century, the country remains the only Group of Seven nation that has not recognized full marriage equality.
“In landmark ruling, Japan court says it is ‘unconstitutional’ to bar same-sex marriage” (Reuters | March 2021)
“Japan court says same-sex marriage should be allowed” (The Associated Press | March 2021)
“Japan court finds same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional” (BBC News | March 2021)
Government of Denmark proposes bill further limiting residential concentration of “non-Western” people
- Reducing the allowable concentration of residents of “non-Western” descent in neighborhoods to 30% and the availability of public housing in designated neighborhoods to 40%, Interior Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek claims the measure is intended to avoid the emergence of “religious and cultural parallel societies.”
- The current version of the bill removes the controversial term “ghetto,” the legal classification for a neighborhood of more than 1,000 residents in which more than half were of “non-Western” origin and exhibiting other indicators of disadvantage (such as high unemployment or crime rates).
- Fifteen neighborhoods currently fall into that classification, where crimes carry stiffer punishments and parents are required to enroll children over the age of one in day care or face loss of public financial support.
“Denmark plans to limit ‘non-western’ residents in disadvantaged areas” (The Guardian | March 2021)
“Denmark’s ‘Ghetto List’ down drastically from last year” (The Copenhagen Post | December 2020)
“Facing Eviction, Residents Of Denmark’s ‘Ghettos’ Are Suing The Government” (NPR | August 2020)
LGBTQ+ center in Accra closes after police raid, public outrage
- A community center opened by LGBT+ Rights Ghana was temporarily shut down following a police raid and outcry and harassment from religious leaders, government officials, and anti-LGBTQ+ organizations.
- Opened in January, the center provided paralegal services, counseling, and education to the queer community in Ghana, despite homosexuality still being criminalized in the country.
- The attendance of Danish and Australian ambassadors at a fundraising event led authorities to accuse the center of being a front for European intervention and an imposition of non-Ghanaian values and beliefs.
“Anti-gay uproar after Ghana opens its first LGBT+ community centre” (Reuters | February 2021)
“Ghanaian LGBTQ+ centre closes after threats and abuse” (The Guardian | February 2021)
“Ghana security forces shut down LGBTQ office: Rights group” (Al Jazeera + Agence-France Presse | February 2021)