LIVERPOOL, December 17, 2007 – A
university student last night called for UK gay men and women – and transgendered people – to show solidarity with the LGBT community throughout
the world by backing the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) next
“IDAHO is one day a year and it is
a chance to highlight the inequalities people all over the world suffer,
simply because they do not have a “normal” sexuality or gender identity”,”
said Adam Hodgson, a third year student at John Moores University and the
North West coordinator of IDAHO in UK.
“In 77 countries around the world
it is illegal to be gay. In nine of these countries, the penalty can be
“Currently 13 countries refuse
entry to people based on their HIV status,” he added.
“It’s only by getting involved that
we can show our solidarity with LGBT people all over the world. Put
Saturday May 17, 2008 in your diary now,” he asked.
The IDAHO campaign was marked on
and around May 17, 2007 in over 50 countries with over 100 initiatives and
events in the UK.
For the first time all parts of the
UK were involved, as the IDAHO ‘habit’ gripped such cities and areas as
Liverpool, Southampton, Bradford, Northampton, Bristol, Lancaster, Tyne and
Wear and Yorkshire.
Meanwhile, IDAHO veterans in
London, Brighton, Oldham, Manchester, Sheffield, Surrey, Gloucestershire and
Kent marked the day with bigger than ever events.
IDAHO initiatives in Scotland were
marked by a massive and enthusiastic contribution from LGBT Youth and an
Amnesty International campaign. IDAHO was also celebrated for the first in
Northern Ireland and Wales.
“Yes to Education, no to
Homophobia” was a suggested theme for IDAHO events around the world and this
was reflected in several events in the UK.
Students at the University of Arts
in London designed posters celebrating the diversity of the LGBT community,
and addressing world homophobia.
The winning posters were displayed
at a major event on May 17th attended by 200 people.
Manchester’s Lesbian and Gay
Foundation announced “a new major initiative aimed at ending homophobia
through education”, called “Exceeding Expectations” and showcased this
initiative at a major event at Manchester Town Hall.
The subject of homophobic bullying
was also tackled in development workshops commissioned and co-produced by
Queer up North and Stonewall.
The Gay and Lesbian Humanist
Association (GALHA) held a panel discussion on “Introducing Gay Families to
Hate Crime was a major concern of
IDAHO campaigners this year, and this was reflected in many events and
The BBC reported that there had
been a series of hate crime arrests to mark IDAHO. New campaigns to tackle
hate crime were launched in Brighton, Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
120 people attended a major event
organised by Gay Surrey to highlight these issues.
In Brighton,. campaigners released
77 lanterns, on the seafront, to mark the 77 countries where homosexuality
is a crime around the world.
Campaigners in Southwark, Lambeth
and Wandsworth marked the day by remembering the victims of homophobic and
transphobic abuse in imaginative ways, while in Camden, campaigners marked
the day by planting pansies where homophobic and transphobic hate crime had
occurred, in collaboration with “The Pansy Project”.
Community Safety Events were also
arranged by the “East London Out Project”, who also organised a major vigil
outside Walthamstow Town Hall, and workshops with 4 local authorities.
Merseyside Police illuminated
police headquarters with the colours of the rainbow flag, and announced the
re-launching of their Gay and Lesbian Support Network, and in
Gloucestershire ‘out’ members of the county’s LGBT community went back into
the closet for the day.
At least 50 local authorities
marked the day with the raising of the rainbow flag, and many held
ceremonies, which included a minute’s noise against homophobia, which had
originally been suggested by campaigners in Sheffield, who also held a major
Politically, IDAHO-UK received
messages of support from all the major political parties.
The UK government chose IDAHO day
to make a major statement on their plans for tackling world homophobia and
transphobia, the Liberal Democrats hosted an event in the House of Commons
on the subject of homophobic bullying, and Stephen Williams, the Liberal
Democrat MP for Bristol West also submitted an Early Day Motion to the House
of Commons concerning the Universal Decriminalisation of Homophobia, which
was supported by close to 100 MP’s.
Mr Williams also hosted an eve of
IDAHO event at the House of Commons, which was addressed by representatives
of the British Youth Council, who also organised a very successful
demonstration outside the Polish Embassy on IDAHO day.
London’s Mayor, Ken Livingstone
also issued a statement supporting IDAHO, marking the City’s growing
contribution to the IDAHO-UK campaign. The Trade Union Congress held a TUC
International LGBT Seminar.
||IDAHO International site
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Posted: 17 December 2007 at
00:00 (UK time)