17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia

On 17 May 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders.

The fight for the recognition of equal rights for lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender people did not end there though.

Today around 80 countries in the world still criminalize homosexuality and condemn consensual same sex acts with imprisonment, of these 9 (Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen) still have the death penalty. Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity is still not recognized formally by the member states of the United Nations (even though human rights mechanisms such as the Human Rights Committee have repeatedly condemned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity).

ILGA has been fighting against discrimination and for the recognition of equal rights of lesbian, gays, bisexual and transgender people since its creation in 1978. That is why ILGA is strongly committed to celebrating this second International Day Against Homophobia, launched one year ago by the International Day Against Homophobia Committee (IDAHO).

In 2005 IDAHO was celebrated in more than 40 countries, from France to Hong Kong. A large variety of initiatives were taken and they were widely covered by the Media. In Iran, in spite of the government brutal homophobia, IDAHO was talked about on numerous blogs and in thousands of emails. In Kiev, Ukraina, a huge balloon with ‘Say no to Homophobia” was let loose.

Help us to make this second International Day Against Homophobia a reality on the ground by organizing a party, a protest, or any other initiative that would raise the visibility of IDAHO in your communities.

ILGA was offered the unique chance to produce a TV spot for this special day in English, French and Dutch. Watch ILGA's spot against Homophobia.

In every country of the world, please pass the message: 17 May is the International Day Against Homophobia, it is of homophobia that you should be fearful, not homos!

Many thanks to DDB Belgium