The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby reminds everyone that Monday, May 17 marks the fourth annual celebration of International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).
IDAHO was born out of the International Conference on LGBT Community Human Rights held in Montréal in July 2006 before the first World Outgames. The conference adopted the Declaration of Montréal which recommended recognising May 17 as the International Day Against Homophobia.
IDAHO is now celebrated in more than 50 countries.
May 17 was chosen because it marks the date in 1992 when homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation.
The purpose of IDAHO is to fight homophobia and to end discrimination based on sexual orientation. Unfortunately lesbians, gay men and their families continue to be treated unequally under some state and federal laws.
The NSW Adoption Act prohibits same-sex couples from applying to adopt children in their long-term care.
There is also no mechanism in place to recognise children born to same-sex couples through surrogacy arrangements.
The current definition in the federal Marriage Act does not allow same-sex couples to marry.There is also no federal legislation protecting individuals from unfair discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The refusal of our Governments to recognise same-sex relationships, families and individual rights in all laws is tantamount to institutional homophobia and is unacceptable.
IDAHO is a great opportunity to challenge homophobia and we encourage everyone to contact their local MPs to discuss the need for immediate reform to NSW adoption law, federal marriage and anti-discrimination law.
info: For more information on IDAHO events around the country, visit http://www.lgbthealth.org.au/idaho.

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