In 70 countries, loving someone of the same sex is illegal and, in 7 countries, it is punishable by death, writes Kieran Bohan, coordinator of the Open Table network.
In many more countries citizens are denied their right to live as their true gender identity, and 369 murders of trans and gender-diverse people were reported worldwide in 2018. As well as legal discriminations, social homophobia, biphobia and transphobia daily serve to deny millions of people across the world their basic human dignity.
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to this issue. The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. IDAHOTB is now celebrated in more than 120 countries. LGBTQIA+ organisations, governments, cities, human rights organisations, corporations and celebrities have all taken action on May 17th to:
Draw media attention to the issue of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
Demand attention from policymakers and engage in lobbying activities
Network with like-minded organizations and develop new partnerships, at home or beyond.
The theme for IDAHOTB 2019 is ‘Justice and protection for all’. The United Nations Free & Equal campaign has produced this 1 minute film which explains why:
For more information about IDAHOTB visit:
This Sunday evening, 19th May 2019, I am leading a reconciliation service at St Bride’s Liverpool, on behalf of Open Table Liverpool, the first in the Open Table network of ecumenical worship communities for LGBT+ Christians and all who seek an inclusive church.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots which became the catalyst for the LGBT civil rights movement worldwide, I will offer a reflection asking what Peace, Reconciliation & Activism mean for the LGBT+ Christian community today.
Open Table Liverpool meets on the first and third Sundays of each month at St Bride’s Church, Liverpool L8 7LT. Refreshments from 6.00pm, worship from 6.30pm. The first Sunday of the month is a bring-and-share ‘agape’ meal with simple, informal prayer to begin and end the meal. The third Sunday of the month is a communion service, where #AllAreWelcome to #ComeAsYouAre.
Open Table began in 2008 with just six people – now Open Table communities gather across the UK, hosted by inclusive churches, serving more than 300 people each month.