by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner
May 17, 2013 (TSR) – The World Health Organization eliminated homosexuality from its list of diseases 23 years ago, on May 17, 1991. Political and social organizations, in debating the need for an annual day to raise awareness, chose this date for the celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in 2004.
Today, IDAHO is celebrated in more than 100 countries, and by a wide range of stakeholders from local organizations, to celebrities, to city councils, to private organizations and corporations, to national governments and international agencies such as the United Nations.
The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) seeks to promote LGBT rights, strengthen the struggle against discrimination, respect for freedom of choice and sexual preferences of every human being. Annually, the day is commemorated by highlighting the horrific consequences of homophobia and transphobia on gender and sexual minorities.
On its 9th year, the May 17 International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO), has reach an unprecedented milestone: The First international IDAHO Congress 2013 was organized at The Hague.
On 16 and 17 May in The Hague (Netherlands), an international conference called Joining Forces, Moving Forward; in Europe and beyond was convened with the participation of several international organizations involved in the field of LGBT, including the UN, the European Commission and the European Agency for Fundamental Rights.
Minister Jet Bussemaker hosts the conference and represents the government of the Netherlands. She was appointed Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the Cabinet Rutte-Asscher on 5 November 2012.
As the host country and initiator of the first edition of this top level conference, The Netherlands will receive over 700 participants from home and abroad.
Bussemaker is also joined by fellow ministers from other countries including Finland, the UK, Belgium and Sweden, whose governments place a high priority of LGBT rights in their foreign policy.
Delegations from the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, international military and law enforcement LGBT networks, human rights activists, leading municipalities and students are also participating in the conference.
HRM Queen Máxima of the Netherlands also attended the official IDAHO meeting in the Hall of Knights on Thursday evening, 16 of May.
The two-day first European edition of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) will focus on international developments involving the emancipation of gays and have a serious international dialogue to abolish the criminalization of homosexuality and fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and social acceptance of LGBT people.
At various venues in The Hague, in sub-sessions and workshops, the participants in the IDAHO 2013 conference are encouraged to and can enter into discussion with one another about how the emancipation of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people (LGBTs) can be improved at the European level, and what people can learn from each other.
The first conference IDAHO aims to join forces and promote stronger cooperation among stakeholders at various levels in the treatment of issues such as empowerment and LGBT rights, combating violence related to gender and sexual orientation and the policies and cooperation in the European and global
Venezuela Celebrates IDAHO with 15 other Nations
Venezuela joins the celebration together with other 15 states who will march on Saturday to demand inclusion and equal rights.
The leader of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chávez, in his defense of human rights, promoted respect and inclusion for this part of the Venezuelan society and around the world.
A series of events are being held in the capital city of Caracas today, including a special session of the Municipal Chamber of Libertador in which an agreement will be signed by MPs regarding non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Special recognitions and awards will also be given to those who have worked to advance the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, including Supreme Commander postmortem, Hugo Chavez, to honor his human rights’ legacy.
A cultural event will take place between 6 pm and 12 pm on Villa Flor de Sabana Grande Street in Caracas, and about 3000 people are expected to attend.
Free Your Mind
Currently, there are some 80 countries around the world who criminalize homosexuality or transsexuality and condemn sexual acts between persons of the same sex with imprisonment. Nine countries (Afghanistan, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen) give death penalty for homosexuality.
It is important to note that the discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not officially recognized by the member states of the United Nations, although human rights organizations such as Human Rights Committee have repeatedly condemned those who discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
They believe that the most powerful component of the Day is recognizing the voices of all people from all walks of life, and thus, they encourage people from all over the world to submit a brief post about what homophobia and transphobia look like in their respective countries, what they are doing for IDAHO and how IDAHO will ultimately impact their efforts at the local level to end homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
If you want to add your own experiences and thoughts to the conversation on how to end hate and usher world peace by embracing every member of our planet, go ahead. Spread LOVE, not war and hate.