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International News: November 2014 International News 

International News: November 2014

estonioaCohabitation Bill Narrowly Passes Estonia Parliament

The Estonia government passed the Cohabitation Act, a law that enables cohabitating couples, irrespective of the gender of either partner, the right to register their relationship at a notary and enjoy the kinds of financial benefits conferred by marriage.

The final version also provides for the possibility of adoption by unmarried cohabiting couples.  According to Estonian Public Broadcasting, the bill, which will go into effect in 2016, narrowly passed with a 40-38 result.


Spain Passes Anti-Discrimination Law

Spain, the autonomous community of Catalonia passed a law that will punish attacks against the LGBT community with fines of up to $14,000. Despite being known as one of the more LGBT-friendly countries in Europe, with the legalization of same-sex marriage being almost a decade old, in 2014 the majority of the hate crimes committed had been motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity.   


Kyrgyzstan Lawmakers Advance “Gay Propaganda” Bill

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted to advance a draft of a Russian-style “gay propaganda” ban, bringing the bill one step closer to law in the Central Asian former Soviet republic. The ban proposes up to a year in prison for individuals, including journalists, found guilty of spreading “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. The bill would also ban LGBT advocacy organizations.   


pavel-astakhovRussia Says U.S. Same-Sex Couple Illegally Adopted Student

The Russian foreign ministry announced that it had suspended a 21-year-old program that placed Russian high school students with host families in the United States after alleging that a student had been put up for adoption and placed in the custody of a same-sex couple.

“A child who has a mother in Russia was illegally put up for adoption, and the boy was handed over to a homosexual American couple,” Russia’s child rights ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov (left), was quoted by the TASS news agency on Wednesday as saying, “The boy is healthy and comes from a good family, so it’s not clear what guidelines they were operating under in the U.S.”    


Thousands Protest for Marriage Equality in Taiwan

More than 120 civic groups protested outside the Taiwanese parliament in Taipei to demand the legalization of gay marriage. According to GayStarNews the Marriage Equality Revolution Front – organizers of the protest – estimated 20,000 people participated in the ‘rainbow siege’ outside the Legislative Yuan but media reports put the number at 2,000-4,000.

Activists reportedly attached 112 padlocks with each legislator’s name on them to the parliament gates. ‘Equality keys’ were sent to legislators last month and those in support of gay marriage were invited to symbolically unlock the padlocks at the protest and 21 legislators accepted the invitation.     

“A child who has a mother in Russia was illegally put up for adoption, and the boy was handed over to a homosexual American couple,” Russia’s child rights ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov (left), was quoted by the TASS news agency on Wednesday as saying, “The boy is healthy and comes from a good family, so it’s not clear what guidelines they were operating under in the U.S.”    


By Rachel Roth

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