Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), when advocates across the globe take a stand against anti-LGBT violence and discrimination. According to the United Nations, 76 countries still criminalize consensual same-sex relationships, and anti-LGBT bias continues to make life extremely difficult for so many.
The date of May 17th was chosen for IDAHOT to commemorate the 1990 decision by the World Health Organization to take homosexuality off of its list of mental disorders. Events will take place in roughly 90 countries around the world, from Turkey to Nigeria to Mongolia to Brazil and will take many different forms. A complete list of participating countries and registered events can be found on their website.
In a message delivered to the International Forum, held in The Hague, the Netherlands, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "We know what needs to be done. Draconian laws used to criminalize and punish LGBT people must be replaced by new laws that are in harmony with universal human rights conventions and protect everyone from discrimination on grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity."
The UN Human Rights Office has also created a video, The Riddle, which calls for change at the international level to protect the millions of people facing anti-LGBT violence and discrimination through a series of questions that highlight the work left to be done. You can watch the full video below.