On the evening of IDAHOT activists made the uncompromising statement of Stonewall “Some people are gay, get over it” available in Yerevan streets. And there were also more activities on and around IDAHOT…
[box type=”note” ]We are still busy collecting information on this year’s IDAHOT activities and are waiting to hear back from activists and event organisers. If you have information to share with us, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org[/box]
PINK Armenia initiated personal letters to all of the MPs, some of the relevant ministries, prime minister of the country and the president. PINK called the state officials to monitor direct and indirect cases of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), to ensure the legislative amendments to combat discrimination based on SOGI, thus ensuring equal rights and respect towards LGBT people. The letter addressed to the president urged him not to reward persons and organizations openly demonstrating hate calls with national awards. The letter addressed to the MPs pointed out not to use the chair of the National Assembly as a platform for hate speech. The letters stated that the Government is also expected to adopt and implement the recommendations of UPR on regards to prohibiting and preventing discrimination based on SOGI.
PINK also gifted state officials postcards with personal stories of LGBT persons who were subjected to violence and discrimination.
On May 17 PINK activists raised the LGBT flag in the very heart of Yerevan, and after all, to conclude the day, IDAHOT was celebrated in a closed venue with more than 120 LGBT people and allies. Rarely in Armenia does LGBT community have a safe and secure platform to express themselves openly, yet IDAHOT was celebrated in ease and free environment.
Ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia “New Generation” Humanitarian NGO Announces a Photo Contest titled “Homophobia in my eyes”.
They also released a statement in support of IDAHOT:
“New Generation” Humanitarian NGO in solidarity with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia calls to refrain from discrimination against LGBT people.
The term homophobia originates from the Greek words homо- same and phоbos- fear this term introduced into circulation in 1972.
There is discrimination against LGBT people everywhere: in 80 countries, homosexuality is forbidden by law in most countries it is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Sometimes the law provides for life imprisonment. About 10 countries apply the death penalty for LGBT people.
The idea of declaring May 17 International Day Against Homophobia comes from French writer and scholar Louis-Georges Teninn in 1990. On May 17, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the list of mental illness. International Day Against Homophobia has been officially celebrated from 2003. That puts certain obligations in front of the international community united on homophobia and discrimination on the recognition of other forms of discrimination and to stop violence. Demonstration of any king of discrimination is prohibited by the European Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms and by the number of international acts.
Officials also have shown their support on IDAHOT.
In recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on May 17, U.S. Ambassador Richard M. Mills, Jr. met with Armenian civil society representatives who advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights in Armenia. During their meeting, the Ambassador heard from the civil society representatives about their work to ensure that the legal and human rights of LGBT Armenian citizens are fully protected.
The United States remains unwavering in its commitment to advance LGBT equality at home and around the world. Both former Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry have made strong statements condemning discrimination and violence against LGBT persons, recognizing that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The U.S. Embassy has supported NGOs who advocate for equal rights for all Armenians through its Democracy Commission Small Grants program.
IDAHOT 2015 Statement by the British Embassy in Yerevan:
May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. This is a day marked globally to raise awareness about the discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Despite progress in some parts of the world, there is still a lot to be done both to fight against prejudice and also to ensure everyone is equally protected under the law.
The UK has always been next to the individuals and organizations that are under very challenging circumstances trying to promote LGBT rights locally and globally. Here in British Embassy Yerevan we have welcomed and supported the efforts of local LGBT activists, media and bloggers. This year an LGBT community dedicated media started to function –www.lgbtnews.am – which took the local efforts a step further.
No one should face discrimination because of who they are and who they love. Our goal is a diverse, respectful and fair world.
British Embassy Yerevan