Photo: Istolethetv/Flickr (CC BY 2.0).Photo: Istolethetv/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

17 May – National Day and International Day Against Homophobia

Last updated: 5/16/2012 // Every 17 May, we celebrate Norway’s constitution. This is a day for commemorating the ideals of freedom and equality. It is also the date of the International Day Against Homophobia and transphobia, which will be marked all over the world.

“We want to take part in this celebration too,” commented State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gry Larsen.

In a number of countries all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender  people are subject to violence, harassment and discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Homosexuality is criminalised in more than 76 countries, and subject to the death penalty in six.

State Secretary for International Development in the Foreign Ministry Arvinn Gadgil commented, “This is a sensitive issue in many countries. But it is our duty to combat violence and discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

Norway is at the forefront of these efforts in the UN and through our embassies. This is not a question of creating new rights, but of ensuring that human rights apply to all regardless of gender, ethnicity, belief, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Here you can see a powerful video message from Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in connection with the International Day Against Homophobia.

Norway supports the High Commissioner’s work in this field.

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