MAKE MAY 17 2007 A DAY TO REMEMBER.
UK campaigners are gearing up for the 3rd International Day Against
Homophobia on May 17th. Last year there were over 40 events in the UK
to mark the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed
“homosexuality” from its list of mental disorders. Internationally, 50
countries are now involved in the campaign for LGBT rights to be
recognised as human rights across the globe. IDAHO organisers are
asking all those who support the campaign to organise events on and
around May 17th.
One of the themes of this year’s campaign is “No to homophobia-yes to
education”. Students at the University of the Arts in London will be
designing two sets of posters that focus on challenging homophobia,
and celebrating LGBT people, both contemporary and figures from
history. The four winning posters will be displayed at a major event
in Central London on IDAHO day. While in Manchester several key
organisations have come together to support a campaign called
“Exceeding Expectations” a three year initiative which will reach more
than 12,000 education professionals and provide resources training and
advice in combating homophobia-information about IDAHO and
international homophobia will be a central feature of this campaign.
IDAHO’s main focus internationally will be its campaign for a United
Nations Resolution to decriminalise homosexuality. This campaign has
received massive support around the world and the petition on
www.idahomophobia.org has now been signed by over 5,000 people. Ben
Crouch, UK North West Coordinator said “The positive effect that a
resolution of this type being approved at the United Nations will have
on the global LGBT community will be equivalent in gay rights terms to
the discovery of creating electricity. For all those who have faced
persecution in the world, for all those who have faced death, torture
and imprisonment because of their sexuality, this resolution is for
Alongside this vital campaign, there will be many opportunities for
individuals and organisations to challenge homophobia. The IDAHO UK
website on www.idaho.org.uk has been designed to share information,
provide a forum to promote events and activities, share ideas and
access resources. Suggestions for involvement are organised around 4
strategic themes of “Being Seen, Being Heard, Being Well and Human
Following a highly successful event in Sheffield last May, organised
by the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health in partnership with the SHOUT
centre, IDAHO organisers are encouraging major cities and towns in the
UK to take on the challenge of organising a minutes noise against
homophobia. Many LGBT people throughout the world have to suffer
intolerance in silence, and this minutes noise provides those of us
who have the freedom of speech without reprisal to SHOUT out on their
behalf. IDAHO UK is also encouraging people to lobby their local
councils to fly the rainbow flag on IDAHO Day, as many did last year.
Councils can also pass resolutions supporting IDAHO as Brighton did in
Derek Lennard, IDAHO-UK Coordinator said “This is a chance for us to
demonstrate that we are not smug about advances made against
homophobia in the UK, and at the same time we can not stand idly by
while LGBT people are persecuted, criminalised and slaughtered around
the world. IDAHO is a network with no bureaucracy to speak of, created
by activists. So our question to all those interested in equality is
stark and clear. As we state on our poster ”International Day Against
Homophobia, 17th May 2007-“What are *you* going to do?”.
IDAHO UK Coordinator – Derek Lennard.
IDAHO North West Coordinator, Ben Crouch.