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Home / Press Release / Human Rights First Celebrates International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
May 17, 2014

Human Rights First Celebrates International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today joins together with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists and allies, and human rights organizations around the world to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord issued the following statement to mark the occasion:

“Twenty-four years ago the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of officially recognized mental illnesses. Today, as we commemorate the anniversary of that just exclusion, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is honored around the world.  Advocates for LGBT individuals will spend the day raising awareness about continued rights abuses, families and friends will prove that homophobia is not a traditional value, and the community itself will show that love is not criminal.

“Human Rights First stands with the LGBT community in all corners of the globe.  This year we worked side by side with Russian and Eastern European activists in the fight against the spread of draconian anti-LGBT propaganda laws, while in Africa we called on the U.S. government to exert its influence to bring an end to the criminalization of homosexuality in countries such as Uganda and Nigeria.  

“This administration has been a leading advocate for the obvious proposition that human rights are LGBT rights and LGBT rights are human rights.  We will continue to work together with policymakers, activists, and the international community to promote the human rights of LGBT people and to protect them from the violence, persecution and discriminatory legislation that is prevalent in many parts of the world today.”

In honor of IDAHO, Human Rights First will host a congressional reception on Wednesday May 21st focused on shining a light on the challenges to human rights for LGBT people in Jamaica. In Kingston and beyond, the LGBT community are denied access to basic rights and services, resulting in alarming rates of homelessness and HIV. Federally, legislation has made homosexual acts illegal since 1864, breeding a permissive climate for violence and persecution against LGBT people.

Human Rights First continues to urge the United States to stand with those who are fighting against discrimination and work to promote the protection of human rights for LGBT people globally.

For more information about the congressional reception, or to speak with Gaylord contact Mary Elizabeth Margolis at margolisme@humanrightsfirst.org or 212-845-5269.