Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Own Private IDAHo (International Day Against Homophobia); also TAKE ACTION against "proud homophobe" in the Executive Administration

Way back in 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. This happened on May 17, which in 2004 became known as IDAHo (sometimes IDAHO), the International Day Against Homophobia.

Here's a handy list of 17 FAQs on May 17.

(And here's a handy PDF of the handy list of 17 FAQs on May 17!)

This year, the focus is on ending discrimination in sports by having people support this declaration:

No form of discrimination is welcome in the sports world.

Being an athlete is not only about

reaching higher and higher physically.

It’s also about the values of justice, equality,
team unity, respect, and dignity.

Plus, it’s fighting any form of discrimination,

including discrimination based on sexual orientation.

That’s why I lend my support to

the International Day Against Homophobia.

Across the pond in Europe, for the first time ever, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Parliament, and the European Commissioner for Fundamental Rights have issued statements affirming the EU's commitment against discrimination on any grounds as a statement of solidarity for LGBT folks.

Read the statement from Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council here.
Watch a video message from Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament here.
Watch a video message with transcript from Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Fundamental Rights at Pam's House Blend here.

President Herman van Rompuy concluded his statement with the following:

"We are inspired by the sense for human dignity and the uniqueness of each person. Everyone deserves equal chances in life.

For somebody of my generation, this consecrates a remarkable evolution of public attitudes. It represents European values at their best:

  • accepting difference, not fearing it,
  • living with diversity, not fleeing it,
  • defending rights and responsibilities, not ignoring them.

    Of course, much still needs to be done, both in Europe and other parts of the world, to ensure that these mean more than empty words. We must and shall persevere in this task."

  • Sadly, here in America the president just appointed a vocal, self-proclaimed "proud homophobe," Jonathan I. Katz, to a panel working with BP on how to deal with the Gulf Oil spill.

    On his personal website at the Washington University physics department, Katz posted an essay "In Defense of Homophobia."

    Feel free to take a look at his essay, but please be warned that it's pretty awful. He blames gays for all AIDS deaths, says discrimination and homophobia are rational reactions, and likens members of the equality movement to the KKK.

    President Obama would never appoint a "proud racist" or a "proud anti-Semite" to a panel of experts in order to showcase him as one of the best minds in our country, and he shouldn't appoint a proud homophobe either.

    If you would like to sign a public letter against this appointment, you can do so here.

    One day homophobis will be the hate that dare not speak its name. In the meantime, happy IDAHo!

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