The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) was commemorated at an event organized by the National LGBT rights organization LGL together with the Embassy of Sweden in the courtyard of the Embassy in Vilnius on 17 May, 2021. The event was attended by LGBT rights activists, LGBT-friendly diplomatic missions, socially responsible business, media and politicians.
During the event, H. E. Inger Buxton, Ambassador of Sweden, expressed support for the LGBT community on behalf of LGBT human rights friendly ambassadors. Vladimir Simonko, Executive Director of the National LGBT Rights Organization LGL, presented the LGBT rights situation in Lithuania and the results of the LGBTI rights map of European countries compiled by the international LGBTI human rights organization ILGA-Europe.
Participants watched a video greeting from Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality. During the event, two Baltic Pride awards were presented for merits in the field of LGBT rights and visibility. The awards were presented to the volunteers of LGL emotional support platform for LGBT children and teenagers and for Aurelija Ignote Paunksne, heroine of a video clip about the challenges faced by same-sex couples.
“Celebrating International Day Against Homophobia this year is more important than ever. The LGBT community is in particular need of support and encouragement. I am glad that, even during a pandemic, we have found a safe way to meet and feel the strong support of the ambassadors, politicians and business representatives of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, the United States, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This is especially important because the LGBTI human rights situation in Lithuania is not improving, and the LGBT community is frightened by the constant homophobic attacks,” said Vladimir Simonko, Executive Director of LGL.
“Today, we emphasize that all people deserve the opportunity to live without fear, violence and discrimination. IDAHOT Day is about human rights for all; no matter who we are and what we love. LGBT + rights are human rights,” says Inger Buxton, Ambassador of Sweden.
© Augustas Didžgalvis