A struggle against homophobia, for human rights, and for freedom, says
international campaigner, Tin.
The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) is leading a major
campaign for a UN Resolution which will decriminalise homosexuality.
There are still 77 countries in the world in which homosexuality is
illegal and can lead to imprisonment and even in some cases, capitol
Louis-Georges Tin, the founder of IDAHO has gained support for this
intitative from hundreds of VIP’s, politicians, celebrities and many
NGO’s have also signed up to a petition which will appear on
www.idahomophobia.org. on 17th November, for others to sign. Among
the signatories are several Nobel prize winners, most notably Desmond
Tutu, politicians such as Michael Cashman, the Mayor of Paris, Thomas
Hammarberg, Commissioner of the Council of Human Rights. Authors
Edmund White and Neil McKenna who join playwrights Tom Stoppard, Ariel
Dorfman, and Larry Kramer, international superstar David Bowie and
actress, Meryl Streep in supporting this campaign. Crucially,
organisations such as the Intergroup of the European Parliament on Gay
and Lesbian Rights and ILGA have also declared their support, as well
as human rights and anti racist organisations. Tin explained that once
enough people have signed the petition, the wording and the timing of
the resolution, which will be presented to the United Nations Council
of Human Rights, will be decided in consultation with ILGA. It is
hoped that South Africa will submit the proposal. .
Meanwhile, IDAHO-UK is busy preparing for May 17th. Among the
initiatives planned for next year is a major campaign around
homophobic bullying. This initiative will see students of the
University of Arts designing posters celebrating the diversity of the
LGBT community and also addressing the issue of homophobic bullying,
as part of their course curriculum. The winning posters will be sent
to every school in London, and will be displayed at a major IDAHO
reception on May 17th. The initiative is a collaborative effort
between the University of the Arts, LGBT History Month, School’s Out,
Westminster Council and Amnesty International. Amit Popat, Diversity
Advisor of the University of Arts said “Inspired by IDAHO this project
sets an example of how organisations can collaborate to educate people
about non-discrimination, locally and globally. It embraces the spirit
of “It takes a village to educate a child”.
IDAHO campaigners around the world marked May 17th with a minutes
silence, but this year inspired by the example of an IDAHO event in
Sheffield in May of this year , campaigners will be making a “minutes
noise” in city centres around the UK. There were over 40 events as
part of IDAHO-UK, which included a demonstration outside the Home
Office in protest at the treatment of LGBT asylum seekers, the launch
of a homophobic reporting kiosk in a London pub, and many awareness
raising meetings about international homophobia across the country.
GALHA-the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association worked very hard to
establish and support IDAHO in the UK and are taking a well deserved
rest from this role.
IDAHO UK’s new website, www.idaho.org.uk is sponsored by “Strong
Roots” (www.strongroots.co.uk) and www.engaged.org.uk
Derek Lennard the IDAHO UK Coordinator explained “This interactive
website will play a crucial role in the development of our
campaigns-we strongly advise everyone to have a look at it and take
part in the various forums and discussions.
He added “We are clearly very concerned about homophobia and
transphobia around the world and believe that IDAHO is an excellent
way to address these issues. At the same time we are not at all
complacent about the situation in the UK. We recognise the enormous
progress that has been made but that there is still much to do, and we
will never take the freedoms we have won for granted.
For more info:
Derek Lennard - firstname.lastname@example.org