For an International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO)
UNO (United Nations Organization) and all States, Governments and Parliaments
IDAHO Committee (for the international recognition of lesbians, gays, bi and trans)
More Info at:
FOR AN INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA
Towards an international recognition of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Trans People
According to an opinion widely held, homosexuality is said to be freer today than ever before. It is present and visible everywhere: in the street, in the newspapers, on television, at the movies. It is even supposedly completely accepted, judging by the recent legislative advances made in many countries for the recognition of same sex couples. Certainly, some work remains necessary in order to eradicate the last vestiges of discrimination. But with changing public opinion, it will only be, according to some people, a matter of time, the time needed for a movement begun many decades earlier to achieve its goals.
For the slightly more attentive observer, the situation is globally very different. To tell the truth, the 20th century has undoubtedly been the most violently homophobic period of history: deportation to concentration camps under the Nazi regime, Soviet gulags, blackmail and persecution in the United States in the McCarthy era... Obviously, all of that can seem very distant to us now. But quite often living conditions in the world today remain very unfavorable. Homosexuality is discriminated against everywhere: in at least 80 countries, homosexual acts are forbidden by law (Algeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Bosnia...); in many countries, the punishment can exceed ten years in prison (Nigeria, Libya, Syria, India, Malaysia, Jamaica...); sometimes, the law prescribes life imprisonment (Guyana, Uganda). And in a dozen countries, capital punishment may be actually carried out (Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia...). In Africa, recently, several presidents have brutally acted on their will to combat personally this "scourge" which they consider "anti-African". Even in other countries where homosexuality is not considered a crime, persecutions have multiplied. In Brazil, for example, death squads and skin heads spread terror: 1,960 homophobic murders have been officially reported between 1980 and 2000. In these conditions, it is difficult to think that "tolerance" is gaining ground. On the contrary, in the majority of these nations, homophobia appears more violent today than ever before. The tendency is not, therefore, towards a general improvement, far from it.
This is why we propose an International Day Against Homophobia. It will have as a goal to articulate action and reflection in order to struggle against all physical, moral, or symbolic violence related to sexual orientation or to gender identity. It intends to inspire, support, and coordinate all initiatives contributing to the equality among citizens in right, as well as in fact, and to achieve this in all countries where action is possible. The organization of an official day for the fight against homophobia in each country will allow us to place our struggle within a campaign of solidarity with all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans persons (LGBT) around the world. But it is also a question of placing our struggle within a wider campaign for the defence of human rights. For many decades now, across the globe, numerous actions have been led in this perspective, not without success. We see ourselves as inheritors of this tradition: we want to reinforce the achievements already won, we want to give more visibility to future causes, and we call upon national and international public authorities to recognize this Day in the official calendar, following the example of the International Women's Day or World Aids Day. The recognition of such a Day would then be a determined commitment on the part of the international community, which has already come together to fight many other forms of discrimination and social violence, but has not yet addressed subjects related to LGBT rights. NOW IS THE TIME.
This text was written by Louis-Georges Tin, editor of the Dictionnaire de l'homophobie (Presses Universitaires de France, 2003). If you also support this initiative, and if you want the International Day Against Homophobia to be officially recognized on the national and international calendar, please sign and encourage others to sign this petition. (Translated from French by Flora Bolter, Patrick Bray.)
FIRST INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA (IDAHO): MAY 17TH 2005.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE REFER TO WWW.IDAHOMOPHOBIA.ORG.
[de] FЬR EINEM WELTTAG GEGEN HOMOPHOBIEN
[es] PARA UN DIA MUNDIAL DE LUCHA CONTRA LA HOMOFOBIA
[fr] POUR UNE JOURNEE MONDIALE DE LUTTE CONTRE L'HOMOPHOBIE
[it] PER UNA GIORNATA MONDIALE DI LOTTA ALL'OMOFOBIA
[pt] PARA UM DIA MUNDIAL DE LUTA CONTRA A HOMOFOBIA
Coalition of African Lesbians
European Association for Human Rights (FIDH-AE)
European Green Party
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)
World Congress of LGBT Jews (Keshet Gaava)
If you want to see supports and signatures from your own country, please refer to our website, www.idahomophobia.org.
If you want to contribute to the International Day Against Homophobia, you may write to [email protected] or [email protected]
COUNTRIES INVOLVED IN THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA (ON MARCH 8TH 2005):
7. Costa Rica
14. Ivory Coast
33. United Kingdom
34. United States