LGBT rights advocates and allies will observe the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (or IDAHO) in more than 100 countries around the world on Friday.
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.
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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.
In advance of IDAHO, the Human Rights Office of the United Nations released this video, “The Riddle,” featuring a diverse cast from across the world, including activists, policy makers and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.
For more information on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, or how you can get involved, click here.