MPs will be supporting the International Day Against Homophobia with a reception in Parliament this evening.

The meeting will be hosted by Stephen Williams, Lib Dem MP for Bristol West, who has tabled an Early Day Motion in support of IDAHO for the second year running.

He will be speaking alongside Jason Pollock, Executive Director of London Pride who will explain the links with Riga Pride.

Maeve McGoldrick of the British Youth Council will talk about threat to LGBT rights in Poland, and Joseph Healy of the Green Party will talk about campaigns in Eastern Europe.

Eleanor Laing, Tory Shadow Minister for Women and Equality said “There is much to celebrate this year on IDAHO.

“The passing of the Equality Act with its provisions to stop discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation is a vast step forward.

“Regardless of party political persuasion, attitudes are changing and I have every confidence that we are progressing towards a day when homophobia will be a thing of the past.”

Lorely Burt, the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Women and Equality added:

“Homophobia and transphobia ruin the lives of LGBT people in the UK and around the world.

“These prejudices can ruin a teenager’s education, lead to grotesque bullying at work, and are the source of discriminatory Government policies worldwide which ignore the problems LGBT people face or make these problems worse.

“The Liberal Democrats warmly and fully support the International Day Against Homophobia.”

Commenting on the IDAHO UN decriminalisation resolution, Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas said: “It is time the UN condemned such injustice and set a signal to the governments of the world that the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is a violation of fundamental human rights.”

Students of the University of Arts (London) have designed posters marking LGBT History Month and the International Day Against Homophobia and the 4 winning posters (two in each category) can now be seen on www.idaho.org.uk.

Those attending a special event at the University of Arts (London) at the London College of Fashion on May 17th, will receive printed copies of all the student’s posters, and see an exhibition of their work.

This will be the main IDAHO-UK event, and as well as speakers, there will be news of IDAHO events around the world, and a message of greeting from Louis-Georges Tin, the founder of the International Day Against Homophobia.

One of the main themes of this year’s IDAHO campaign is “No to homophobia, yes to education.”

This is reflected in several other events in the UK and worldwide.

In Manchester the Lesbian and Gay Foundation has embarked with many agencies on a three year initiative to support schools in Manchester with interventions, resources, training and advice on homophobia and sexuality.

Cardiff Mardi Gras organisers are encouraging photos, drawings, painting and digital camera images to highlight “where you feel safe in your sexuality.”

GALHA (Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association) are hosting a panel discussion following the: “scare-mongering and misinformation about books aimed at primary school pupils that deal honestly with gay issues, such as same-sex parents or gay youth.”

In France there will be several initiatives and interactive events at Paris train stations involving pupils teachers, pop singers artists, human rights and LGBT Organisations around the issues of homophobic and transphobic bullying.

In Lebanon graphic designers and design students have been asked to depict homophobia and the fight against it.

The winning poster can also be seen on www.idaho.org.uk

Meanwhile IDAHO-UK organisers have been encouraged by a late surge of announced events for May 17th and are now expecting IDAHO to be marked by 80 events and campaigns.