(UPDATE: I’ve removed the link in the first paragraph for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The event is for real, but they are obviously having problems with the web site.)

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and also the day Human Rights Watch released their annual LGBT Rights: The 2013 “˜Hall of Shame’ list.

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is recognized in over 100 nations.
About the first, from Joe My God:

First recognized in 2004, IDAHO commemorates the May 17, 1990 decision by the World Health Organization that decategorized homosexuality as a mental disorder, and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights advocacy.

In 76 countries around the world, same-sex relationships are still considered illegal and punishable by jail, fines and in some countries, lifetime imprisonment. In seven countries, a conviction is punishable by death.

As well as legal discrimination, social homophobia and transphobia serve to daily deny millions of people across the world their basic human dignity.

And in many countries, transgender citizens are denied their right to live according to their chosen gender identity including many jurisdictions in the United States.

IDAHO has received official recognition from several nations and such international institutions as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the day with specific events.

To see the video, “The Riddle,” released by the Human Rights Office of the United Nations, go here.

About the Human Rights Watch 2013 “˜Hall of Shame’:

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights program at Human Rights Watch today named its candidates to its annual “Hall of Shame” to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The American Center for Law and Justice; President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia; Vadym Kolesnichenko, a member of Ukraine’s parliament; and the Ukrainian political party Svoboda are undermining human rights by actively promoting homophobic policies, Human Rights Watch said.

The first, the American Center for Law and Justice, is the “contribution” from the U.S.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), for attempting to export homophobia to Africa. Founded in 1990 by the Baptist Minister and televangelist Pat Robertson, and headed by Jay Sekulow, its chief counsel, the ACLJ strongly opposes LGBT equality and reproductive rights in the United States and across the globe. It works through offshoot organizations such as the East African Centre for Law and Justice (EACLJ) in Kenya, the African Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ) in Zimbabwe, and the Brazilian Center for Law and Justice (BCLJ) in Brazil. The EACLJ unsuccessfully lobbied against Kenya’s progressive new constitution in 2010 solely on the basis that the constitution’s anti-discrimination clause could eventually be used to advance LGBT equality and that it allows for abortion when the mother’s health is at stake.

You can read about the other three “winners” at the link.

Graeme Reid, LGBT Rights director at Human Rights Watch, said:

“˜Homophobia and transphobia are still very much alive and pose a daily threat to the basic human rights of LGBT people … . The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is a celebration of achievements and a reminder to all that human rights are universal and apply to everyone, including LGBT people.’

The day won’t get much notice in the U.S., but surely the need for awareness about the unreasonable and uninformed fears that characterize transphobia and homophobia exists here, too.

(IDAHO Poster via LGBTQ Nation)