#IDAHOBIT2018: No International Day against homophobia celebration in Nigeria, Africa

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is celebrated on 17 May every year since 2004

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, IDAHO is enjoying huge mention on social media and is even trending in some countries across the world but not in Nigeria and certainly not Africa.

In Africa, same-sex couples risk safety threats, criminal charges, time in prisons or even the death penalty so IDAHO is a no-no.

Observed on May 17, IDAHO aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide.

This event created in 2004, was designed to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT people internationally.

– Gays not welcome in Africa –

In Africa, gay couples can feel completely safe in only one country, South Africa. That is the only country on the African continent that allows same-sex marriage.

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Homosexuality is criminalised and outlawed in many countries in Africa, this is also same in the Middle East and Asia.

In these areas, same-sex acts can result in imprisonment.

In Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, homosexuality is punishable by death under sharia law. The same applies in parts of Somalia and northern Nigeria.

To put in perspective, same-sex relationships are criminalised in 72 countries and territories worldwide, dozens of which can enforce jail time and eight can even apply the death penalty.

For the founders of the International Day Against Homophobia, they hope that their goal to coordinate grass-roots actions in different countries, to promote the IDAHO and to lobby for official recognition on May 17 will gain grounds in Africa someday.

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