Obama marks International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia


obama_marks_idahot_2015_statementPresident Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, marked the annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

In a statement issued by the White House on Saturday, Obama said that he remains committed to eradicating prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people in the USA and around the world.

Below is his full statement:

“Michelle and I join our fellow Americans and others around the world in commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia tomorrow, May 17.

“We take this opportunity to reaffirm that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights are human rights, to celebrate the dignity of every person, and to underscore that all people deserve to live free from fear, violence, and discrimination, regardless of who they are or whom they love.

“We work toward this goal every day. Here at home, we are working to end bias-motivated violence, combat discrimination in the workplace, and address the specific needs of transgender persons. Overseas, I am proud of the steps that the United States has taken to prioritise the protection and promotion of LGBT rights in our diplomacy and global outreach.

“There is much more to do, and this fight for equality will not be won in a day. But we will keep working, at home and abroad, and we will keep fighting, for however long it takes until we are all able to live free and equal in dignity and rights.”

In February, the Obama administration announced the appointment of Randy Berry as the USA’s first ever LGBT Human Rights Envoy.

His role is to advance the human rights of LGBT people around the world, including the decriminalisation of homosexuality, by working with governments, civil society, and the private sector.

IDAHOT has been commemorated every year on May 17 since 2005 to honour the day that homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1990.

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