MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate release
May 17, 2017 marks the 12th annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia*
The celebrations will span the coming week. All over the world, lights will shine on the situation of sexual and gender minorities.
Many actions will focus on the horrible situation in Chechnya this year, where dozens of LGBT people have been rounded up, tortured and killed by government forces. Around the world, rallies and protests are being organised to denounce the situation and put pressure on leaders to bring it to an end.
But while mobilisation grows in some parts, IDAHOT events have had to be cancelled in several places due to pressure from opponents, as in Lebanon or Bosnia. In the Caucasus country of Georgia, activists have been driven off the streets by violent attacks for several years now, as opponents “claim” May17 as the “day of traditional families”.
To denounce the frequent usurpation of family values by conservative movements, this year the IDAHOT has teamed up with the International Family Equality Day, which is being celebrated on May 7ththis year, to declare that “Love is what makes a family”. Rainbow families, parents of LGBT children, and all their allies have rallied around this motto to organise events in over 50 countries.
These, and all the other IDAHOT events, will underline the tragic situation faced by many LGBT people along with their families. But they will also, and surely foremost, be a celebration of the courage, the strength and most of all the LOVE, that drives the fight for the rights of sexual and gender minorities.
Throughout the week, we will circulate information on events, statements from prominent supporters and bring family stories from around the world, all of which will resonate against hatred and extremism.
Among the first trends to which we bear witness this year, we note the strong commitment from progressive movements within churches. Just as families don’t accept the hijacking of their values by extremists fostering hate and violence, people of all faiths don’t resign themselves to the manipulation of their religious values.
We also see that the Day is increasingly recognised at official levels. This trend is not new as in previous years many heads of State, UN agencies, EU institutions and local authorities have marked the Day. But the trend is increasingly visible. To name just some examples, May 17 has entered the formal curriculum in Chile’s schools and in France the public television hosts a thematic IDAHOT evening with debates, documentaries and dramas. The UN Free and Equal campaign will once more release a special video, celebrating family.
One sign of this growing recognition is the lighting up of official buildings in rainbow colours; this is an increasingly popular way to mark the Day. Last week-end, Vilnius City Hall in Lithuania joined the global illuminations for the first time, but many more official buildings are on this year’s list, including the now almost “traditional’ Melbourne city bridge.
Tamara Adrian, (English, Spanish)
Chairperson of the IDAHO Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel Bedos, (English, French, German)
Director of the IDAHO Committee: email@example.com
General information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The IDAHO Committee was created in 2005 by the founders of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
For the past 10 years, the IDAHO Committee has worked to make the Day become the single biggest LGBT global annual mobilization moment.
Our main missions have been to
- Develop the scope, diversity and moral authority of the Day
- Support organizations to take action during the Day
*The Day goes by various acronyms, from the early IDAHO to the more recent IDAHOT and in some places IDAHOBT or IDAHOBIT. There is no central “brand” control.