Around the UK and across the globe, groups are marking
International Day Against Homophobia, 17 May.
Since 2005, dozens of countries have marked the day in 1990 when
the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list
Last night in a speech to the Kaleidoscope Trust, John Bercow MP
called for human rights reforms by the 76 countries where
homosexuality remains illegal. Within the 54 countries that make up
the Commonwealth, 41 still criminalise lesbian, gay and bisexual
people, including five where the maximum penalty is death.
''As Speaker of the House of Commons I am privileged to work at
the heart of Parliament which has enshrined in law the right of
LGBTI individuals to equality," said Mr Bercow. "It is my deep
regret that this cannot be said of many countries overseas where
equality remains but a distant goal. That is why I feel I have a
duty to continue the campaigning I did for LGBTI equality at home
while a backbencher by supporting the work of Kaleidoscope to
promote those same rights abroad."
In London this afternoon, campaigners will rally outside the
Nigerian Embassy at 9 Northumberland Avenue, WC2N, between 3-6pm to
protest against the anti-same-sex marriage bill under discussion in
Nigeria. Supporters who cannot attend the rally are encouraged to
sign the petition
against the bill.
In Brighton and Hove, schools are showcasing classroom work that
challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, while members of
the Brighton and Hove LGBT Workers' Forum will hold a "minute's
noise" to remember the international victims of homophobic and
Cardiff, Liverpool and London's Islington councils are just a
few of many to hoist the rainbow flag representing LGBT pride and
solidarity, but it's not only left-wing and liberal councils and
organizations that have made the move to demonstrate their support.
In the North-East, Hartlepool Football Club will be following the
lead of the local Police, Fire and Library Services by flying the
rainbow flag, while local activists plan an "equality climb" to the
320m peak of local landmark Roseberry Topping, where they will fly
the rainbow flag.
A few days ago Filipino LGBT activists were welcomed at the
Phillipines' seat of government, bearing a portion of the countries
longest rainbow flag, where they called on Congress to pass a bill
recognising IDAHO and promoting LGBT human rights.
In Kenya, celebrations organised around the country by local
activists include sports days, parties, dance competitions and
fashion shows as well as the provision of counselling and health
And at Manchester Airport, travellers arriving and departing
will see the rainbow flag flying proudly in the grounds.
For more information about IDAHO and events near you, visit www.dayagainsthomophobia.org.