Lesbian, gay, bi and trans activists and Green elected representatives in Brighton and Hove are commemorating the 2012 International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) today and tomorrow, 17-18 May.
Leading Greens will address or voice support for commemorative events in the city, including Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty, new deputy leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Keith Taylor, Member of the European Parliament for Southeast England, Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton Pavilion and Councillor Jason Kitcat, who will take over as leader of the city council today.
Events include a community vigil in the Old Steine, this evening, Thursday, 7 – 9pm, with keynote speeches from community representatives including the newly appointed Green Leader of the Council, Councillor Jason Kitcat and a performance from the Rainbow Chorus.
Green councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty said, “IDAHOBIT is the most important day in the calendar to mark LGBT rights and equality.
“In Brighton and Hove we are showing what can be done in the fight against the institutional discrimination LGBT people still face locally, in our country and around the world.
“Let’s remember the work of so many people who are fighting prejudice – for example those who are confronting homophobic and transphobic bullying in education locally, such as the Allsorts Young People project.
“Remember, also, that in at least five countries people can be sentenced to death for their sexuality and in many more countries there’s still legal and social oppression. Even here in our tolerant city we have still have the scourge of hate crime.”
Friday will see the release in the UK of a European Parliament Film ‘It Gets Better’ at a commemorative IDAHOBIT event at the central Jubilee Library (Friday 18 May, 6pm) with an introduction from Keith Taylor MEP. Keith said, “I’m really proud to be part of this film which sends a strong message of support to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender young people across Europe .
“Being a teenager can be hard enough, but being bullied because of your sexual orientation can sometimes make young people’s lives unbearable.
“Bullying and discrimination can lead to self-harm and even suicide.
“By raising awareness of the work that is being done to strengthen LGBT rights in Europe and by highlighting these issues I hope that this film will show that we can work together to put an end to homophobia and transphobia and that we really can ‘make things better’.”
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said, “The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia is an opportunity to celebrate the great progress made on LGBT rights, but also to remember that discrimination on the basis of gender and sexuality remains – both here and abroad.
“Here in Brighton and Hove, the Greens stand in solidarity today with all of those in our city and across the world who have struggled against bigotry and prejudice, and pledge to work together to promote a more equal, just and respectful society.”
Councillor Jason Kitcat said, “I am honoured that my first engagement as the Green leader of the city council will be to attend this evening’s vigil in commemoration of IDAHOBIT Day. While there is still much work to do, we as a city lead the way culturally and socially in the advancement of the rights and protection of LGBT people in the UK.
“I believe we have great opportunities with a Green-led council to take this reputation even further and to show the world what can be done to tackle homophobia and transphobia however it appears, whether as hate crime, cultural prejudice or legal discrimination.”
For more information, please contact Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.
Public bodies, including Green-led Brighton & Hove City Council will also fly the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi and trans) rainbow flag from public buildings to remember victims of hate crime and discrimination around the world.
Friday 18 May: the Jubilee Library event will include a panel discussion and the official release of the City Council’s scrutiny panel into trans equality.
EU Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights Video and press release link: