The south coast city of Brighton and Hove is marking International Day Against Homophobia next month with a seaside event.

The city’s council has voted to officially recognise IDAHO and will be flying the rainbow flag from the Town Hall.

Brighton-based IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) is organising an event at 8.30pm on 17th May 2007 on Brighton seafront, near the Volks Electric Railway Station.

There will be a performance by the Rainbow Chorus choir, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, a minute’s ‘noise’ in partnership with the Public and Commercial Services Union to remember the international victims of homophobic violence and a speech by local MP Dr Desmond Turner.

The highlight of the evening will be the release of 77 visually stunning sky lanterns to represent the 77 countries that still persecute gay people with imprisonment and execution.

Sky lanterns or “Khoom Fay” have been used in Thailand for hundreds of years where they are believed to convey wishes to heaven.

Cliff James of Brighton IDAHOBIT says: “Every single person has an inalienable human right to their own sexuality, whether gay, straight or bisexual.

“IDAHO is a celebration of a person’s right to love and be loved by who they choose. It’s an opportunity to turn a spotlight on those who persecute others because of their sexuality.

“Simply by coming to the IDAHO event on Brighton seafront on May 17th, people can make a declaration in defence of tolerance.”

There are IDAHO events taking place across the UK – for more information click here