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Evan Harris helps launch IDAHO 2006

March 30, 2006 9:48 PM
Evan Harris MP on conference podium

Evan Harris MP

Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford & West Abingdon, will join other equality campaigners to launch the 2006 International Day Against Homophobia next Friday.

The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) was launched on 17 May 2005. It was decided to mark the day every year on 17 May because that was the date that the World Health Organisation finally removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. IDAHO has been recognised by the European Parliament and has the support of many gay activists worldwide

Early in 2005, the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) was invited by IDAHO's founder, the French gay activist Georges Louis Tin, to co-ordinate it in the UK and it has arranged and funded a public launch meeting due to take place from 6.00 - 8.00 pm on Friday 7 April 2006 at Amnesty International UK's Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA. If you are not familiar with this venue, please refer to the detailed directions provided by Amnesty on the website www.amnesty.org.uk/amnesty/nationaloffices/hracmap.shtml

The meeting will begin with a welcome address given by Amnesty UK's Secretary, Linda Wilkinson, and the keynote speaker will be Louis-Georges Tin who will explain how and why he devised IDAHO, and how events were organised in over 40 countries last year with no funding and no staff. He will give an overview of homophobia worldwide and is also expected to give an update on the situation regarding Moscow Pride.

Speakers joining Dr Evan Harris, will be Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London, Michael Cashman, Labour MEP, and Jason Pollock, Chief Executive of Europride who will preview the Pride and Prejudice Conference on Human Rights which takes place in June 2006.

The meeting will be rounded of by a play reading, based on an excerpt from Rex Batten's book 'Rid England of this Plague' - a terrifying and vivid eye-witness account of the 1950's purge of gays in the UK.