Activists go into the closet for IDAHO

Christopher Hayes March 19, 2007
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Gay rights campaigners in Gloucestershire will be “coming in” this May to highlight the persecution of gays and lesbians.

As part of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), activists will be spending hour-long shifts in a pub closet to raise awareness of laws across the world that discriminate against gay and lesbians.

The protest, organised by Gloucestershire Rainbow Day, will take place at the Lockkeepers bar in Wallbridge, Stroud, on May 18.

On IDAHO Day itself, May 17, a candlelight vigil will be held in the evening to remember Jody Dobrowski, who was the victim of a homophobic murder.

The 24-year-old bar manager was attacked on Clapham Common in London last year after making his way home from a night out.

Yvette Eagles, who runs the Lockkeepers with her partner Tamsin Hulls, told

“Homophobic laws are still being passed in some countries and we can spend some of our time and energies highlighting these difficulties.

“We are lucky in this country that our rights are protected to a greater extent,” she added.

Last year saw Gloucester’s inaugural Gay Pride march.

It raised more than £300 for the gay rights group Iraqi LGBT, a Baghdad organisation fighting homophobia in post-Saddam Iraq.

This year will mark the third anniversary of IDAHO.

At least 50 countries will be involved in the campaign to promote LGBT rights across the globe.

Towns and cities across the UK are expected to organise a minutes noise against homophobia and lobby their local councils to fly the rainbow flag.

Derek Lennard, the IDAHO UK Coordinator said:

“This is a chance for us to demonstrate that we are not smug about advances made against homophobia in the UK, and at the same time we can not stand idly by while LGBT people are persecuted, criminalized and slaughtered around the world.”

Internationally, IDAHO will be campaigning for a United Nations resolution to decriminalise homosexuality across the world.

The movement has already been backed by a petition signed by over 5,000 people.

Ben Crouch, the UK North West Coordinator said: “The positive effect that a resolution of this type being approved at the United Nations will have on the global LGBT community will be equivalent in gay rights terms to the discovery of creating electricity.

For all those who have faced death, torture and imprisonment because of their sexuality, this resolution is for them.”

Campaigners can visit the IDAHO UK website to get involved in the events and activities.

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