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International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 09:00

Today (17th May) marks International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).

IDAHO(T) began in 2004 to raise awareness of and challenge discrimination and persecution of LGBTI people whilst encouraging policy change in countries across the world to tackle these issues and promote LGBTI equality and inclusion. May 17th was chosen as it marked the day in 1990 the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of ‘diseases’. 

Whilst a lot of progress has been made in some parts of the world, including here in Scotland, far too many LGBTI people are still the victim of hate crime. We also recognise that official LGBTI related hate crime statistics represent a fraction of the true figure due to under-reporting. There continues, therefore, to be a real challenge not only in preventing hate crimes against LGBTI people but also in overcoming the barriers to reporting these crimes to the police. 

Seventy two countries, according to ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association)  2017 “State Sponsored Homophobia” Report, still have laws in place criminalising same-sex sexual activity. As recently as last month, reports of beatings, torture and even murder of gay men in the Russian Federal Republic of Chechyna, are a sobering reminder of the realities faced by many LGBTI people and the need to speak out against hate and show solidarity with those who are oppressed. 

GPA Scotland recorded this short and simple message on behalf of the European LGBT Police Association at our recent meeting in Brussels with the simple message “We Say No To Hate”: