Today, HRC joined national faith leaders to honor the 13th annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The special event, titled Faith Leaders Standing Up for LGBTQ Rights in Times of Uncertainty was organized by Union Theological Seminary and took place in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. It brought together national faith and political voices who advocated for a robust policy on the current state of LGBTQ rights.
“Lawmakers must stop using God to take away the rights of individuals,” said Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation and mother of former Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who took his own life after a cyberbullying incident. “That is not the God I know.”
The day event also included panel discussions on the impact of current policies on LGBTQ community and people of faith, and actions to take for LGBTQ equality. Panelist Robin Maril, Senior Legislative Counsel at HRC, said “Although we're facing very real threats to current civil rights protections from this administration and from Congress, more and more people of faith and congregations are joining us as we fight for permanent legal protections for LGBTQ people and our families.”
“Too often we hear religion being used as a proxy for discrimination, but we must recognize the voices of faith that are joining us every day in our call for justice.”
HRC also launched a video series today highlighting global innovators in the fight for LGBTQ equality. In addition, the organization is shining a spotlight on the need for continued U.S. engagement on protecting the human rights of LGBTQ individuals around the world, especially in the ongoing crisis occurring in Chechnya.
IDAHOT celebrates the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) resolution to declassify same-sex attraction as a mental disorder. The move followed a similar decision by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973. The WHO’s monumental change created a shift in how many LGBTQ people were treated. In 2004, LGBTQ activists gathered for the first time to mark this date with rallies in support of equality. The anniversary is now marked by celebrations, governmental proclamations, and renewed efforts to end the discrimination and violence that LGBTQ people throughout the world still face.