Celebrations, awards and inspiring statements marked today’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in many countries, although opponents in Uganda, Ukraine and elsewhere intervened to block the festivities there.
Uganda’s homophobic Minister of Ethics Simon Lokodo and Ugandan police forced the cancellation of IDAHOT events in Kampala, even though LGBTIQ rights advocates at Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) had received permits for them.
The situation in Uganda was similar to last week’s events in Lebanon, where the organizer of Beirut Pride Week was arrested and the week’s worth of activities were shut down after a few days.
In many countries, IDAHOT was celebrated without any noticeable opposition. (See below.)
But in several other countries, opposition was strong. Here is a list [compiled with assistance from activist Rex Wockner] of countries where vocal opposition made the news:
This is a sampling of the day’s events in countries where they were allowed to proceed:
From Thursday Island off the north shore of Australia, as reported in Queensland Police News :
“Rainbow-inspired sweet treats ensured the crew were sufficiently sugar-filled to get through the day. Thursday Island Station proudly support diversity and inclusion in the workplace and welcome the chance to share cake with colleagues and family members alike.”
A selection of prominent Indian TV stars spoke out in favor of LGBTQ rights: “Ahead of this year’s celebration, Indian television celebrities stand in solidarity against homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and all forms of hate facing the LGBTQ community across the globe.”
Cameroonian lawyer Alice Nkom and her Tunisian colleague Mounir Baatour were honored with France’s Liberty prize on IDAHOT 2018
The prize was presented by François Croquette, French ambassador for human rights, at the National Assembly. Each of them used the occasion to repeat their frequent appeal to their country’s leaders to repeal each nation’s anti-LGBT law.
“It’s about creating a more inclusive and loving society where everyone is valued, no matter who they are or whom they love. Show your support and WATCH AND SHARE THE VIDEO
The Minister of Tourism in Kerala urged others to adopt policies like Kerala’s: “The Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA) had set up a continuous education programme for transgenders. The government had recommended setting up a cooperative society for transgenders. It was also making efforts to identify new job avenues for the transgender people.”
“Stigma, discrimination and social and physical violence against sexual and gender minorities prevent them from accessing health services,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Everyone has the right to health, no matter their gender or sexual orientation. For that, we need zero discrimination for everyone, everywhere.”
Six of them, anyway — in London, Leeds, Manchester, Dorset, Liverpool and Newry. Surely there were more.
From Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to [the Indian National Congress], here’s how the world is celebrating equality
“He is not just the Prime Minister of Canada, but also the most loved by the LGBTQIA+ community. Here’s how the Canadian PM won hearts today … [By tweeting} ‘we stand together against stigma, persecution, and discrimination.’ ”
Plus IDAHOT news from India, Nepal, Belgium and Lithuania, where a rainbow-colored crosswalk appears on May 17 to celebrate IDAHOT.