Congressional resolution recognizes IDAHOT, calls for end to discrimination

More than 60 congressional members, led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced a Congressional resolution in support of the goals and ideals of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.

“Unfortunately, homophobia, transphobia and discrimination against the LGBT community can still be found in communities across our nation and around the world. Whether it is in the form of hatred, exclusion, bigotry or violence, it is unacceptable,” said Congresswoman Lee.  “I hope this resolution is another step in the direction of full equality and acceptance for all.”

The resolution outlines the specific effects of anti-LGBT violence, homelessness and health disparities, especially related to mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. 

Anti-LGBT violence is the third most frequent bias crime in the United States, amongst those reporting these crimes. Transgender women, people of color and young people often face the most severe violence as a result of these crimes.

The resolution expresses particular concern for school-age victims of homophobia and transphobia. 

According to a 2011 survey by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, eighty percent of students that identify as LGBT were harassed because of their sexual orientation in the last year.  Sixty-four percent of them felt unsafe at school and thirty percent had skipped an entire day of school in the past month because of safety concerns. 

“No young person should feel unsafe in their school, community or home because of their gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.  Ensuring the safety and health of our young people should be our highest priority,” added Congresswoman Lee, who serves on the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees education funding.

The resolution was introduced to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia on May 17th, the day that the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1990.  In 2014, IDAHOTB was marked in 130 countries, including 37 with anti-LGBT laws. Nearly 1,300 organizations reported hosting a total of 1,600 events to mark the day.