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Protestors march on Turkish embassy for IDAHO

Protestors march on Turkish embassy for IDAHO

Activists in Montenegro marked the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) by marching on the Turkish embassy in protest at the country’s treatment of LGBT people.

Members from rights group, the LGBT Forum Progress, carried banners reading in English, Montenegrin and Turkish, ‘Never hush, never share a crime’ and other messages of love and tolerance.

The peaceful rally was given a police escort for protection and photos of victims of transphobia were placed, alongside flowers and candles, at the entrance to the embassy in the capital Podgorica.

Spokesman for the LGBT Forum Progress, Stevan Milivojevic, said: ‘Our young activists were very brave and have shown that LGBT Forum Progress is actually making progress considering LGBT and human rights in Montenegro.

‘All in all it was a beautiful day, filled with feelings of pride, love and tolerance.’

The protest is just one of hundreds of creative and innovative activities happening in 95 countries on every continent today in celebration of IDAHO.

From Russia to Brazil, LGBT people are making their voices heard, organizing everything from festivals to flashmobs.

In France, IDAHO was marked with a training session for police forces in several cities and a giant Madison dance in central Paris.

While in the French Caribbean island of Martinique, the first-ever LGBT public march took place last night.

Politicians, leaders and officials around the world have also pledged their support for the global day of action and awareness.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Pillay released a video message ahead of the day and other UN agencies, such as the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) marked the day with conferences and declarations.

In a statement from UNDP, administrator Helen Clark said: ‘While many governments have extended equal civil rights to all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity, inequities persist.

‘In more than 70 countries, homosexuality is still criminalized, and in many more same-sex unions are not recognized. 

‘Transgendered men and women across the world are excluded from educational opportunities and employment.

‘Gays and lesbians are discriminated against, persecuted, excluded, imprisoned and killed – simply for being who they are.  Sadly, many young men and women take their own lives before even daring to speak their truth.

‘The United Nations Development Programme supports initiatives which promote understanding of the negative impact of homophobia and transphobia, and reduce human rights violations. 

‘Our experts have been working with governments and civil society organizations around the globe to monitor rights violations against LGBT people, document their impact on access to HIV prevention, counseling, treatment and care, and support rights-based responses for LGBT.’

This year’s IDAHO marks 20 years since WHO declassified homosexuality as a mental illness and the organization as now released a groundbreaking report condemning so-called ‘conversion’ therapies.

Last night in Paris, UNESCO organized a day-long international conference on homophobic bullying.

According to an IDAHO spokesman, 1.5 billion people currently live under laws that criminalize same-sex relationships.

He said: ‘While progress in some areas is unfolding, millions of people worldwide are still being denied their basic human rights.’