This year the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) campaign focuses on the role of religion in promoting -- or ending -- violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.
We join LGBT people and our allies around the world in calling upon religions to condemn violence and prejudice based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and to create communities of respect for all people. Click here to read and sign the official IDAHO appeal. I signed it on behalf of JesusInLove.org.
Many IDAHO events are happening around the world, including the Great Global Kiss-In and an arts exhibition in New Caladonia.
May 17 was chosen for IDAHO because the date is the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s May 1990 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. I was shocked when I learned recently that this decision was made only 20 years ago. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality as a disorder in 1973.
I especially want to support the Day Against Homophobia because it is international. I have personal experience with religious homophobia at the international level, so I know how important it is. I confronted it when I worked with the World Council of Churches as ecumenical officer for Metropolitan Community Churches in the 1990s.
I also know how “internationalism” can be used to mask homophobia, because progressive religious leaders don’t want to “offend” the developing nations that they imagine are more prejudiced against LGBT people.
I pledge to do my part in making this world a safe space where everyone is treated with respect. I pray for an end to hatred and violence against GLBT people in every nation.
This post was written by lesbian Christian author Kittredge Cherry. She blogs regularly on GLBT spirituality and the arts at the Jesus in Love Blog.