Homosexuality is not a disease. Homophobia is.

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“Being gay is not a disease, but homophobia is. Respecting the condition and integrity of the LBGTI population is synonymous with progress, healthy living and construction of the capital of life.” – Heriberto Mejia, at the head table of yesterday’s conference.

DEFINITION: Homophobia
[hoh-muhfoh-bee-uh]
NOUN
Dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people. A social disease caused by fear of the unknown.

The Municipality of Barranquilla held a press conference yesterday to highlight the steps the municipality is taking to recognize the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), held annually on May 17th.

With the support of the United Nations, 3 Nobel Prize winners and 300 NGOs from 75 countries, the IDAHO movement was born in 2005, and on that year, over 25,000 demonstrators took to the streets to denounce and publicize discrimination and violence against queer people worldwide.

Fast forward a decade and IDAHO is now recognized worldwide with millions of people shouting out in support and solidarity for the hundreds of millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people across the globe. There are events taking place across all regions and in at least 120 countries, including in 32 of the 76 countries where same-sex relationships are criminalized.

“In too many places, LGBT individuals grow up forced to conceal or deny who they truly are for fear of persecution, discrimination, and violence.” – Barack Obama, President of the United States.

“We must continue to demand true equality. We must carry on the legacy of those who fought for justice by being bold and ambitious in our actions.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.

Here is Barranquilla, the mayor seconded the program to the Ministry of Social Management, Women and Gender equality, to host the press conference and socialize the idea with the public.

Secretary of Social Management, Gonzalo Baute, said: “We are doing workshops for projects and inclusive actions where the LGBTI community are guaranteed their rights, because the mayor wants to build a capital where everyone can live together despite their differences.” .

“We are human beings with rights and equal conditions throughout the world, and we therefore deserve respect and should not be undermined in our integrity for being trans, gay or lesbian.” – Juanita Ortiz of the Lilielbe Foundation, an organization supporting transgendered people.

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