KATHMANDU, May 17:Rights activists and members of Blue Diamond Society, a gay rights group, marked the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on Friday by organizing various functions.
The day is celebrated across the world in the memory of the day, May 17 when the WHO had decided to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1990, according to Sunil Babu Pant, president of the Society. Organizations such as the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the World Congress of GLBT Jews, and the Coalition of African Lesbians had signed an appeal to support the IDAHO initiatives, according to Pant.
We celebrated the day with the aim to coordinate international events that raise awareness of homosexuality and transgender rights violations and stimulate interest in rights advocacy, Manisha Dhakal, deputy director of the Society, said. In the flag-hosting ceremony organized at the British Embassy, Dhakal said that many members of the gay community are facing problems because of the way society looks upon homosexuality.
In about 80 countries around the world, same-sex relationships are still considered illegal and punishable by jail, fines and in some countries, lifetime imprisonment and in some they are punished to death, according to them. Most United Nations agencies also mark the day with specific events.
Addressing the community members Guy Harrison, Acting Ambassador of British Embassy said, the British government has been supporting the community in terms of health and education among other things. He also said the upcoming CA election will be more helpful for the community in terms of enhancing equal rights.
The sexual minorities organised a dance programme at Rastriya Nachghar to showcase their talent and took part in a rally on the occasion.
May 17 is marked across the world with demonstrations and call for tolerance towards LGBTI people.
Meanwhile, the European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to equality and non-discrimination.
“The European Union campaigns tirelessly for the respect of human rights, irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity. We raise the issue of LGBTI rights during our human rights dialogues, we speak out through public statements, and we work behind the scenes with our delegations to argue the case for justice and human rights,” said the high representative of the European Union Catherine Ashton, issuing a press release via Kathmandu-based EU’s office, today.