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May 17, 2013


Colorful balloons carried down New York's Fifth Avenue during the city's annual gay-rights parade (AP Images)


The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO for short) is celebrated on May 17 each year. It is coordinated by the Paris-based IDAHO Committee, founded and presided over by French academic Louis-Georges Tin. The day highlights respect for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people worldwide and focuses on international events that expand support for those rights.

May 17 was chosen as the day of the event because homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases on May 17, 1990.

In many countries, support for gay rights is expressed through parades, such as New York’s annual parade celebrating gay pride (seen here).

In the United States, support for the rights of LGBT people is stressed at the highest levels of government. President Obama issued a memo June 17, 2011, to the heads of U.S. executive departments and agencies, requiring them to strengthen international initiatives to end discrimination against LGBT people and to advance their human rights.

“No country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere,” said Obama.