Fifty cities around the world will see kiss-in events this weekend to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).
IDAHO is held every year on May 17th because on this date in 1990 the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.
Kiss-ins will be held in countries such as the UK, France, America and Spain, while one is being planned for Shanghai in China.
In the UK, kiss-ins are taking place in London, Blackpool, Plymouth, Norwich, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Those joining the London event, which is to be held outside parliament on Sunday, will have the opportunity to watch a film about homophobia in Italy, ‘Suddenly Last Winter’. They will also be serenaded by a choir singing love songs.
Derek Lennard, a co-ordinator for IDAHO-UK, said: “This is the first opportunity the LGBT community will have to show the new government that whoever is in power, we will not stop our demands for LGBT rights at home and abroad”.
London ‘kissers’ will be able to meet the directors and stars of the film, which explores the impact of homophobia fuelled by the Vatican and right-wing politicians in Italy.
Mr Lennard added: “After the disgraceful comments of the Pope about LGBT people, there could hardly be a more appropriate film to show on the eve of IDAHO.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which usually sends out a message of support for IDAHO to its embassies around the world, said it hoped to send out a message this weekend but as of Friday afternoon, had not yet been allocated a junior minister since the new government taking office.
On last year’s IDAHO, the French government announced it would become the first country in the world to declassify transgenderism as a mental illness. The change came into effect in February.
For a complete list of kiss-ins around the world, click here