The International Day Against Homophobia was marked by events around the world yesterday.

Events were held all over the UK. In Brighton, an evening event on the seafront including sky lanterns, a choir performance and speeches from MPs was held.

Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council Simon Burgess said: “It’s terrible in this day and age to know that 77 governments still persecute people because of their sexuality or gender identity.”

“It’s bad enough that there are still incidents of homophobic violence in our cosmopolitan city but at least there are laws against it and a determination to take effective action.”

In Manchester, an evening of speeches took place at the Town Hall to promote the Exceeding Expectations campaign to school governors and teachers .

The campaign, which aims to end homophobia in schools, is a collaboration between the Lesbian and gay Foundation, Manchester City Council Children’s Services, Manchester Healthy Schools Partnership, and the Hope Theatre Company.

The Hope theatre, who will be performing in schools to target homophobia, were also given a showcase at the Town Hall.

In Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Rainbow Day will the Back Into The Closet demonstration tonight at gay bar The Lockkeepers.

Around 12 gay men and women will take it in turns to spend an hour inside an actual closet to demonstrate that homophobic persecution is still present in many countries.

Yesterday members of the Gloucestershire LGBT community held a candlelit vigil for Jody Dobrowski, a Gloucestershire man murdered in a homophobic attack in October 2005.

The Mayor of London voiced his support for IDAHO. In a statement he said: “The third International Day against Homophobia is a timely opportunity to reflect on the ongoing struggle for human rights and legal equality within the lesbian and gay communities.

“This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK.” There were dozens of event held across London yesterday.

Internationally, the day was marked in a number of countries.

In Macedonia, the Macedonian Association for Free Sexual Orientation (MASSO) released its new book Pregled Overview [/i>, which offers an analysis of international law, LGBT-related legal frameworks and cases of discrimination.

In Ankara, Turkey, an international anti-homophobia meeting lasting until 21st May began.

In the Philippines the organisation Pro-Gay Philippines hosted a film exhibition and a round of discussions about tackling homophobic discrimination.

In Guyana, the day was marked with a screening of the film [i] Songs of Freedom by Jamaican director Philip Pike.

In the Ukraine, LGBT organisations protested at the Economic Juridical School, part of the International Academy of Personnel Management, over the expulsion of a gay student due to his sexuality last year.

Protestors demonstrated under the motto “Gay rights are human rights” and handed out leaflets against homophobia, racism and xenophobia.

The International Lesbian and Gay Association Europe called for the support of the mayors of European cities in fighting homophobia.

A petition was sent to European leaders and who opposed gay rights.