IDAHO – International Day Against Homophobia
17th May every year is IDAHO Day or International Day against Homophobia and an opportunity to celebrate LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) culture and to acknowledge the continuing struggle for equality and acceptance that LGBT people face both in this country and in countries around the world.
IDAHO is also an opportunity to share a message of solidarity to LGBT people around the world including countries where being LGBT can result in the death penalty, imprisonment, forced marriage, corrective rape, enforced castration and sterilisation. Gruesome thoughts but unfortunately so true.
In this country, despite advances in equality legislation, LGBT people still live double and hidden lives, experience discrimination in and out of work and are more likely, because of not being accepted in society or by poor portrayal in the media, to experience bullying and harassment, mental health problems and suffer from alcohol and drug abuse.
LGBT citizens currently facing one of the biggest fights of our generation, the campaign for equal marriage with the main opposition from religious groups and the far right.
Love knows no boundaries and neither should equality.
IDAHO – Newcastle
Newcastle City Council continues to pledging its support to IDAHO, every year they raise a rainbow flag at the Civic Centre. To celebrate IDAHO the council in partnership with Unison hold events which give people help and advice on tackling homophobia plus they encourage people to report homophobic hate crimes by reporting incidents to ARCH. The Tyne and Wear ARCH report line offers support to victims of hate crime including homophobia and transphobia, by assisting people to get the help they need and to ensure action is taken against those responsible for these hate crimes. The city council is committed to tackling homophobia and earlie in 2012 published its equality objectives for the next three years which show how they plan to advance equality, tackle discrimination and establish good relations across communities.
Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Homophobia and transphobia are issues the whole council takes extremely seriously so I am proud that we will be supporting IDAHO. Newcastle’s LGBT community continue to make a massive contribution to our city’s culture and economy so this day will illustrate why crimes like this will not be tolerated by the people of this city. I would urge anyone who has been a victim of this discrimination to talk to ARCH who will give confidential advice on how to take reporting homophobia further.”
For more information about Newcastle City Council’s equality objectives go to www.newcastle.gov.uk/your-council/equality-and-diversity.
To report a homophobic or transphobic incident you can call the ARCH help line on 08000 323 288.
IDAHO – International
Please check out information on the Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia website: www.dayagainsthomophobia.org it has information about events from around the world and is really worth having a look at. There is an amazing video for IDAHO produced by that team, view it HERE