The International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia in Mauritius was marked by the 8th anniversary of LGBT group Collectif Arc en Ciel (CAEC), which held various events around May 17.
The organisers, CAEC, explained in the lead-up to events:
‘The 17th May marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) and this 17th May 2013, Collectif Arc en Ciel (CAEC) is celebrating its 8th Birthday of continuous struggle against the prejudices of a burgeoning society for greater acceptance and tolerance of individuals regardless of their sexual orientation or/and gender identity. And this 17th May 2013, CAEC is renewing its engagement of devoted struggle towards the LGBT community at large. With the support of one and all, by staying united and in a spirit of tolerance, respect and freedom; together, we ACT.’
On June 1, CAEC and their partners also marked the 8th Rainbow Parade in Mauritius.
Press Release from CAEC for May 17 2013:
The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) was established on 17 May 2004 for the attention of policy makers, opinion leaders, social movements, public opinion, the media on this issue … to promote a world of tolerance, respect and freedom, regardless of the sexual orientation of people or gender identity. So is this one day against violence and oppression, it is also a day for freedom, diversity and acceptance.
Exactly one year later, on 17 May 2005 in Mauritius, the Collectif Arc-en-ciel (CAEC) was launched to fight against homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and today, the CAEC is the leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that address issues the LGBT community faces. The CAEC celebrates its 8th birthday tomorrow continuous struggle against the prejudices of a growing company, for greater acceptance and tolerance towards people, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity and to renew the Occasionally, its commitment to fight dedicated to the LGBT community.
We recognize that during the eight short years, much has been accomplished in terms of policies, laws and progressive through the law on equal opportunities practices. Nevertheless, much remains to be done if we compare with:
• South Africa and the recognition of the LGBT community in its constitution since the fall of apartheid.
• Nepal, which was the first country to recognize Transgender identity.
• The Delhi High Court has ruled for the decriminalization of sodomy between consenting adults.
• The marriage equality for all in many countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, many U.S. states, New Zealand …
• Barack Obama has openly stated his support for equal rights for LGBT people since his re-election as President of the United States in November 2012.
Still, the more we advance in the struggle for equal rights for protection against hate speech and violence, recognition of sexual and reproductive rights and the decriminalization of consensual sodomy, civil rights equal rights for same-sex couples, the recognition of transgender identity, to mention only the main ones, then we must consider the obstacles that could impede the progress of this struggle.
In these times, to renew the courage, determination and hard to continue this struggle, the CAEC invites Louis-Georges Tin, the founder of IDAHO for the 8th “Rainbow Parade” to be held at the Plaza, Rose- Hill this June 1st. With the support of everyone, while remaining united in a spirit of tolerance, respect and freedom.
A press conference will also be held on May 29 at the Hotel St George, or a complete press kit will be issued (You will receive an invitation to press a few days).
It is our responsibility to inform the media that some people live in our country and it is your duty to recreate the Battle of CAEC, as well as its members and the suffering that is their everyday.
Press release ahead of Rainbow Parade, on June 1
Collectif Arc-en-Ciel (CAEC), on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, observed on May 17, is organizing its annual Rainbow Parade this Saturday at Rose Hill. This activity in order to fight for the promotion of the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT).
For eight years, this year the CAEC was established for the fight against homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation in Mauritius. With the help of various partners, such as PILS, Visa-G CUT LEAD – Tibaz, among others, the CAEC is the largest Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) supporting LGBT.
Rainbow Parade is a march celebrating the LGBT identity, renewing the commitment of the CAEC LGBT causes, commemorating milestones in the country for these people and the involvement and the importance of acting to their rights. Its purpose is to explain to a maximum of LGBT people are like everyone else. The walk will take place in mid-day in the streets of Rose-Hill and will be followed by the Pride Night from 22 pm to 30 club La Diva (ex Shout/AG22) Flic-en-Flac.
At the last press conference of the CAEC, its president, Jean Daniel Wong, announced the ongoing discrimination that prevails in Mauritius against LGBT. For the latter, the LGBT community should get the same rights as anyone. Since Wednesday, a charter has been launched and is available online. “This charter is a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding between the LGBT community and the Mauritian society which aims to engage social and political activists, as well as the general public to work towards the promotion and protection of the rights of the LGBT community in Mauritius and elsewhere. ” This charter will be sent to lawmakers involved to change things.
Jean Daniel Wong appealed to the authorities concerned for the establishment of a special protection unit for LGBT people. He also put the emphasis on the difference between sodomy and bestiality, which he insists, are not the same thing. “Sodomy is simply a way to have sex, we are in 2013 and it is inconceivable to see the act penalized. It affects us a lot. However, I am aware that changing the mindset of people is a job that takes time but at the CAEC we are patient and confident, it’s time to get things moving.’
For more information see:
- Indian Ocean Times: Mauritius: The gay community parade in the heart of the island to fight against homophobia
- Collectif Arcenciel on facebook
- Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/545779538802253/