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City's LGBT Advisory Council backs IDAHO

Thursday, May 5, 2011
Written by Gary Barlow for Gay Chicago News - LINK

GLN permalink 5-5-2011

CHICAGO - The Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on LGBT Issues officially recognized the International Day Against Homophobia, observed annually on May 17, at its April meeting.

ACLGBTI member William Kelley, who introduced the proposal that the Council officially welcome the IDAHO observance, expressed his "hope that it would encourage local organizations, as part of a run-up to Chicago's annual Pride Month, to show solidarity with their international counterparts' struggles against prejudice and discrimination worldwide."

One local group, the Gay Liberation Network, has held public actions on the day for a number of years and plans to mark IDAHO this year with an "educational action highlighting the situations of LGBTs in several countries" May 17 at 5:30 p.m. at Millennium Park on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street.

IDAHO was launched in 2004 by Louis Georges-Tin, a French university professor and activist for LGBT rights, and has grown by leaps and bounds, attracting support from Nobel Prize winners and others, including Desmond Tutu, Amartya Sen, Elfriede Jelinek, Dario Fo, José Saramago, Meryl Streep, Cindy Lauper, Elton John and David Bowie.

It has also been credited with spurring the first organized LGBT events in some countries, such as Congo and Bulgaria, and aiding LGBT movements in others, such as Russia.

This year, pop music icon Lady Gaga has taken on IDAHO as a cause, agreeing to serve as editor of the 20 Metronewspapers around the United States for the day to discuss homophobia and transphobia.

More information on the international observance is online at dayagainsthomophobia.org.


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