Saturday, July 14, 2007

ILGA's Freedom of Assembly Campaign Needs U.S. Help

Our good friends across the pond in the International Lesbian & Gay Association recently launched in important campaign for freedom of assembly rights for LGBT people, and it needs help from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender activists.

This campaign should be of real concern to American gays, who read news and blog accounts of our brothers and sisters across Europe and their gay pride marches, some of which are met with violence and intolerance, while a few other Eastern European pride events are taking place with police protection for gays and without mayhem.

For more info on the ILGA freedom of assembly campaign, click here:

The aim of our campaign is to mobilise support by as many mayors of European cities as possible for the right of LGBT people to freedom of assembly and expression by signing our appeal.

The appeal with signatures will be later sent to mayors of those European cities where LGBT people have been denied and restricted their constitutional right to freedom of assembly and expression or faced aggressive and violent opposition from radicals, nationalists and religious fundamentalists.

The appeal, names of the signatories as well as their possible individual messages of support will be also available on our website.

We hope that by gaining wide support of European mayors we will be able to increase the profile of the issues around bans and restrictions on LGBT Pride marches and other public events in various European cities, and gain greater media interests across Europe.

Most importantly we want to achieve a ‘climate of intolerance and disapproval’ towards those European mayors who are still prepared to or contemplating banning or restricting the rights of LGBT people to freedom of assembly and expression among their European colleagues.

We hope this campaign and wide support by European mayors will be another useful tool for local LGBT groups organising LGBT Pride marches and other public events when challenging bans and/or restrictions.

The appeal is being now distributed among the mayors of European cities. We are encouraging the mayors to sign the appeal before 17 May, the International Day against Homophobia, when ILGA-Europe will announce the signatories and will send the appeal to the mayors of ‘problematic’ cities. However the appeal will be open for signing by the European mayors throughout the entire summer of 2007.

We encourage ILGA-Europe members, friend and supporters to actively promote our campaign and to work with your city/town mayors to obtain their signature and support. The mayors are encouraged not only to provide a signature to the appeal, but also to issue their individual statement of support for the right of LGBT people for freedom of assembly and expression which will be placed at ILGA-Europe website campaign section.

While the mayors of European cities are our principal target group, the appeal is also open to prominent/famous members of society. Therefore we encourage you to help us with identifying such people (cultural, sporting, political celebrities in your countries), approaching and gaining signatures and statements of support from them.

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