Jordan Speaks Up and Speaks Out
My.Kali reports 0n the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO-T)
(Picture: To celebrate the "International day against homophobia and transphobia" an intimate session was conducted in Amman at a local coffee shop on May 12th to discuss homophobia and transphobia)
By Sally Tresh*
“On the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO-T), May 17, we call on all leaders in the world to ensure that all people can speak their minds without fearing violence or intimidation, no matter what their sexual orientation or gender identity.” States the IDAHO-T committee.
To celebrate the “International day against homophobia and transphobia” an intimate session was conducted in Amman at a local coffee shop on May 12th to discuss homophobia and transphobia. The session was organized by upcoming activist Hasan Al Kilani. The session included view points from public and private LGBTQ individuals, a mother, heterosexual couple, and heterosexual individuals. Although the session lacked true homophobic opinions, many shared their experiences with homophobic situations and individuals, as well as experiences of over coming homophobia from both homosexuals and heterosexuals.
The fact that the session was conducted in a public location in the city of Amman within the cafe’s consent and knowledge of the cause, shows the progress being made and still to be made.
“Next year we want to do something bigger and more public” Hasan said. “Only when we talk publicly can we achieve progress. ”
My.Kali was represented with some editorial and support staff, and will continue to be part of constructive dialog.
Speak Up and Speak Out: Protecting Freedom of Expression for LGBT People
IDAHO-T calls on Heads of States to protect freedom of expression for all people.
states have a responsibility under international law to ensure this happens.
FREE EXPRESSION FOR ALL
Freedom of expression, online and offline, is a fundamental right that cannot be denied on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This is international law.
Too many people are silenced because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, or for speaking out on issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. This is unacceptable.
We all have the right to information about sexual orientation and gender identity. This is essential to the exercise of all human rights for all people.
A free, independent and diverse media is crucial to inform the public and for giving LGBT voices the platform to speak out on issues that affect them. Through self-regulation, the media has a social and moral responsibility to play a role in combatting discrimination and promoting understanding between groups, as outlined in the Camden Principles on Freedom of Expression and Equality.
STOP VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION
Every day, across the world, LGBT people and others speaking out to defend equality are attacked just for expressing their identities and views, for talking about sexual orientation or gender identity, or proudly marching in the streets to defend their rights.
Violence and intimidation are the ultimate form of censorship. Impunity for these abuses is rife.
States must make sure that human rights abuses that seek to silence LGBT people are investigated speedily, effectively and independently in compliance with international legal standards. Perpetrators and instigators must be brought to justice, and redress provided to survivors.
Public officials are under a duty to condemn these attacks.
REPEAL DISCRIMINATORY LAWS
A majority of the world’s population live in countries with laws that criminalise LGBT identities or ban sharing information and ideas about sexual orientation or gender identity. Homosexual acts are illegal in 81 countries and punishable by death in 10 countries.
The situation is getting worse. More States are considering or enacting laws that ban “propaganda of homosexuality” – saying anything positive about LGBT rights, joining a march or parade, or a support group or campaign group, can result in prosecution, imprisonment or worse.
This affects all of us. With laws restricting what we can or can’t say about sexual orientation and gender identity we all are worse off. It deprives all people of essential information, including in relation to accessing HIV prevention and treatment programmes. Public health practitioners, educators and human rights defenders are put in particular danger.
States must repeal all laws that discriminate against LGBT people, including by restricting what information they share or can access.
We all have the right to express our identities and speak out about issues around sexual orientation and gender identities. Whether on the street, in an association or assembly, in school, university or online, we should be free to speak without fear of violence, intimidation or prosecution.
– Read Sally’s article “Kuwait City: undercover”which discusses the revelations, the underworld, and the flip side of the LGBTQI scene in Kuwait. (here)
– You can find more about International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO-T) through there website (here)
– Be updated on IDAHO-T through there Facebook page (here)