Today is theInternational Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). The date was chosen in commemoration tof he World Health Organisation’s decision to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders 21 years ago today.
Since that date in 1990 much progress has been made in the advancement of equality and non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, however, discrimination, homophobia and intolerance still remains throughout Europe.
The prohibition of discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation was written into the Lisbon Treaty which entered into force in 2009. Today, twenty-one of Equinet’s members have a specific mandate to work on non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and one of Equinet’s key initiatives in recent years has been the creation of an ad hoc networking group on Trans People. In 2010 they published the perspective “Making Equality Legislation Work for Trans People”.
Equinet member, the Belgian Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism marked the occasion with the launch of a new campaign against homophobia. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of LGB discrimination manifested in harassment and attacks of a homophobic nature.
At the European Institutional level representatives on behalf of the European Commission,European Parliament, European Council,EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and the European External Action Service have all issued statements in support of the equality and rights of LGBT people and against discrimination.
ILGA-Europe, under the auspices of Viviane Reding - Vice President of the European Commission and EU Commissioner for Justice Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, marked the occasion with the inauguration of the photo-exhibition Same Love Different Families. The exhibition is part of ILGA-Europe’s work on the issues of same sex families and the lack of legal recognition they receive in Europe.