Marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) coordinated by the Paris based “IDAHO Committee.” In honor of this Day, Soulforce is officially calling for universal decriminalization of homosexualilty and transdender identification and, in particular, support for decriminalization by all US based political and religious leaders.
IDAHO has been directly linked to a call for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality in a statement signed by Desmond Tutu and other Nobel prize winners as well as highly respected thought leaders and artists, Jacques Delors, Meryl Streep, Cindy Lauper, Elton John and David Bowie. Rev. Mel White, founder of Soulforce, issued a statement on February 2010 confronting several prominent USA based religious leaders about their tacit sanctions of criminalization in Uganda.
For 2010 and 2011, the IDAHO campaign is about religion and asks religious leaders to weigh in on the issue of spiritual and physical violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
Rev Dr. Cindi Love, Executive Director of Soulforce said, “It is our national shame that laws still exist that characterize the lives and relationships of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans as criminal. Those of us who say we believe in the divine worth of all human beings should be on the phones to Washington and to our denominations objecting to even one more day of existence of these laws and any policies or polity within our faith traditions that smack of religious bigotry. It is this bigotry which leads to the spiritual and physical violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
For more than twelve years, Soulforce has engaged in public acts of nonviolent resistance to religious denominational polity and policies that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Most recently, the organization sponsored the Equality Ride which sent 25 young adults into 16 religiously affiliated colleges and universities to engage in dialogue about their discriminatory policies.