Thursday, May 16, 2013


International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia observed around the globe

GENEVA, Switzerland — LGBT rights advocates observed the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (or IDAHO) in more than 100 countries around the world Friday, commemorating the 1990 decision by the World Health Organization that decategorised homosexuality as a mental disorder.
In almost 80 countries around the world, same sex relationships are considered illegal punishable by jail, fines and in some countries lifetime imprisonment. In nine countries around the globe, a conviction is punishable by death.
As well as legal discrimination, social homophobia and transphobia serve to daily deny millions of people across the world their basic human dignity. In many countries transgender citizens are denied their right to live according to their chosen gender identity including many jurisdictions in the United States.
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to this issue.
It has received official recognition from several States and such international institutions as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the Day with specific events.
A coalition of LGBTQ Equality Rights Activists from 17 Nations published a joint statement for IDAHO 2013 condemning of homophobia and transphobia ranging from criminalisation and executions to condemning LGBTQ people in the name of religion, morality or even “fighting capitalism”.
"We are here to underline that human rights are not something given by someone, so for their protection it cannot be intervened selectively. We are here to say LGBTIQ rights are human rights. LGBTIQ people are more likely to experience discrimination, harassment and threat of violence due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. 
This is due to the existence of homophobia and transphobia on a high level. Some of the factors that reinforce homophobia and transphobia on a larger scale are moral, nationalist, religious, and political beliefs of dominant groups in these countries."
[Read the full statement here.]
The Human Rights Office of the United Nations produced and published a special video ahead of IDAHO entitled, “The Riddle,” which features a diverse range of cast members from across the world, including activists, policy-makers and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.