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IDAHOT Report 2016: The United States

While much of the United States’ continues to focus on the debated around trans and LGBT rights, many campaigners are helping to energize the public into supporting the ongoing actions during this difficult climate. As efforts towards equality grow the backlash against LGBT rights is also becoming more vocal. This year this was reflected across the US in the public reaction to IDAHOT 2016.

Online giant Google helped mark IDAHOT 2016 with a message of support on their homepage, which was available across America. On social media IDAHOT was a leading topic in all parts of the country, with thousands of tweets and comments being shared. On Facebook the day was featured as a ‘trending topic’, which brought many comments from the mainstream public to our Facebook page. Many good, and many negative.

The US media was probably the biggest in their coverage of IDAHOT 2016, with articles and features being seen across a number of websites, including Huffington Post, Washington Blade, Yahoo News and many others.

The day was also celebrated from within the establishment, with President Barrack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and a number of other officials releasing public statements.

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Special U.S. Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons Randy Berry is scheduled spoke at a Human Rights First reception at the Rayburn House Office Building on May 17. The group also honored two LGBT activists — Quality of Citizenship Jamaica Executive Director Angeline Jackson and Olena Shevchenko, chair of Insight, a Ukrainian advocacy group — during the event.

Following the introduction of over two dozen bills to curb LGBT rights at the state and federal level, and in observation of ‪#‎IDAHOT2016‬, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) released this video as the kickoff of the ‪#‎WeAreWithYou‬ campaign to show support for the LGBT community.

OutRight Action International honored Berry and Yuli Rustinawati, chair of Arus Pelangi, an Indonesian LGBT advocacy group, during an awards ceremony at the U.N. on May 16. Charles Radcliffe, a senior human rights advisor for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner, and Dan Bross of Microsoft  also received awards.

Berry also delivered the keynote address at an LGBT rights conference that took place at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on May 20.

The Institute of Current World Affairs, a Washington-based organization, has organized the event that advocates from Zimbabwe and other countries attended. U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) co-hosted the conference that the Center for Transatlantic Relations and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting have co-sponsored.

– See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/05/12/advocates-to-mark-global-day-against-homophobia-transphobia/#sthash.eqWiEakT.WmgSk2eT.dpuf

 

But outside of the mainstream, events were held across the country by campaigners and the LGBT community to mark the day. In Gainesville, Florida, churchgoers and LGBT campaigners came together for an event celebrating diversity of all forms. Similar events were also seen across the country.

In San Francisco SF Pride will kick off the local pride season on May 17th with a fundraising event. All money made will go towards upcoming pride events for the San Francisco area.

If you are an American campaigner and would like your action to be included here please get in touch with us directly.

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