Human Rights First Honors International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
Washington, D.C. – In honor of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), Human Rights First today celebrates the work of human rights activists around the world who promote and protect equality for some of the most marginalized and persecuted lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.
“From the Caribbean to Eastern Europe, from Africa to Central Asia, brave LGBT activists are standing up against discrimination and violence and working to create a world where all people are afforded the same rights and dignity,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord. “Today we honor these activists and recognize the progress that has been made in advancing equality, while recommitting to the hard work that remains to be done.”
IDAHOT is an annual day celebrated around the world by LGBT activists, allies, and human rights organizations, commemorating the anniversary of the the World Health Organization’s removal of homosexuality from its list of officially recognized mental illnesses. Human Rights First’s monthly feature titled “Voices for Equality” highlights the crucial contributions of activists to the global human rights movement by profiling an activist working on behalf of equality for all.
To mark IDAHOT, more than 70 members of Congress signed onto H. Res. 263, introduced by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), “Supporting the goals and ideals of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia,” which encourages U.S. policymakers to prioritize the health and human rights of LGBT people as part of bilateral and multilateral relationships.
Today, Human Rights First will host a reception to honor IDAHOT featuring State Department Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons Randy Berry, Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Jamaican activist Angeline Jackson, and Ukranian activist Olena Shevchenko.