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WATCH: United Nations ‘Free & Equal’ video marking #IDAHOT2015

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

IDAHOT logoIn at least 76 countries around the world, loving someone of the same sex is illegal and, in ten countries, it is even punishable by death. In many more countries citizens are denied their right to live as their preferred gender identity.

As well as legal discriminations, social homophobia, biphobia and transphobia daily serve to deny millions of people across the world their basic human dignity. International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to this issue.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. IDAHOT day is now celebrated in more than 130 countries.

It has received official recognition from international institutions such as the European Parliament. Most United Nations agencies also mark IDAHOT with specific events. LGBTI organizations, governments, cities, human rights organizations, corporations and celebrities have all taken action on May 17th to:

  • draw media attention to the issue of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
  • demand attention from policymakers and engage in lobbying activities
  • network with like-minded organizations and develop new partnerships, at home or beyond.

This year, the United Nations Human Rights Office ‘Free And Equal’ campaign has released this video called ‘Faces’, which asks: ‘Can you see past the label?’

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Happy IDAHOT Day, 10th Anniversary of Massachusetts Marriage Equality

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Gay RightsWe have two reasons to celebrate today – IDAHOT Day and the tenth anniversary of Massachusetts marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports on IDAHOT (aka IDAHO) Day:

LGBT rights advocates and allies will observe the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (or IDAHOT) in more than 100 countries around the world on Saturday. First recognized in 2004, IDAHO commemorates the May 17, 1990 decision by the World Health Organization that decategorized homosexuality as a mental disorder, and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights advocacy. Now, ten years later, same-sex relationships are still considered illegal in 82 countries around the world, and punishable by jail, fines and in some countries, lifetime imprisonment. In ten countries, a conviction is punishable by death.

Today also happens to be the tenth anniversary of marriage equality in the state of Massachusetts.

Boston.com reports:

On May 17, 2004, the state of Massachusetts offered the first official marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ten years later, to commemorate the momentous occasion, we asked five Boston-area married couples to talk about what they’ve learned about themselves and their relationships over the past decade. When we opened the inquiry for the project, the response was tremendous. While we weren’t able to respond to each and every submission we received (we wish we could have!), we spoke with a handful of same-sex couples, who not only appear to have the utmost respect for each other, but also exude tremendous amounts of unabashed and unapologetic love.

Two great reasons to celebrate – remember, we shall overcome.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.