HRC Marks IDAHOT With Video Series Highlighting Work of Innovative Global LGBTQ Advocates

by Elliott Kozuch

Washington - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the United States’ largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, marks the 12th annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) with the launch of a video series highlighting global innovators in the fight for LGBTQ equality.

To mark IDAHOT, HRC Global is also releasing its annual report on the state of LGBTQ rights internationally and announcing a unique storytelling partnership with Logo media.

In the new HRC Foundation video series, advocates highlight their work across the globe, raising up IDAHOT’s 2016 theme of mental health and wellbeing. The advocates, who were honored as global innovators at HRC’s Global Innovative Advocacy Summit, are fighting for issues from stopping the dangerous, debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy” in El Salvador, to ending so-called “anti-propaganda” laws in Russia that ban LGBTQ Russians from receiving information crucial to their physical and mental health. Throughout the world, discrimination and social stigma have negative, often tragic, consequences for LGBTQ people compared to non-LGBTQ citizens.

“While countries and communities around the globe are increasingly embracing LGBTQ people, far too many continue to face discrimination, criminalization and even death,” said HRC Global Director Ty Cobb. “I am proud to stand with our global innovators who embody the spirit of IDAHOT by advocating for legal equality and erasing the social stigma that LGBTQ people face every day.”

HRC Global today released its third annual Global Equality Report, an analysis of the work underway and emerging challenges facing LGBTQ activists, advocates, and allies around the world. Additionally, the HRC Foundation announced it is partnering with Logo, the leading entertainment brand inspired by the LGBTQ community, in a new Global Ally multiplatform storytelling campaign. The campaign will feature video interviews with dozens of international equality activists.

HRC is also one of the international LGBTQ rights groups that participated in the United Nations Free & Equal campaign video, a tribute to global activism, released to celebrate IDAHOT.

The situation for LGBTQ people around the world varies widely. As some countries embrace equality, in others, LGBTQ people continue to suffer from discrimination, persecution and violence.

  • Anti-LGBTQ discrimination continues to put lives at real risk. 75 countries currently criminalize same-sex relationships. At least 100 transgender and gender diverse people have been murdered already in 2016, the highest number in the first four months of any year since 2008, according to new data released by Transgender Europe.
  • In up to 10 countries, same-sex conduct is punishable by death.
  • Governments in Nigeria, Lithuania and Russia are silencing equality advocates and organizations with so-called “anti-propaganda” laws -- a disturbing trend that leads to human rights violations.
  • Same-sex marriage licenses are being issued nationwide in 20 countries, and in some jurisdictions of Mexico and the United Kingdom.

IDAHOT celebrates the 25th 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 honor this date with rallies in support of equality; the occasion is now marked by celebrations, governmental proclamations, and renewed efforts to end the discrimination and violence that LGBTQ people throughout the world still face.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the United States’ largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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