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International Day Against Homophobia - May 17, 2008

Homosexuality is NOT a sickness!

 

Montréal - In addition to the International Day Against Homophobia, Fondation Émergence, the pioneer of this event, is launching its annual campaign against homophobia for the year 2008. Entitled Homosexuality is not a sickness! this new campaign, which will reach its highpoint on May 17, when the Day is held, aims to reach healthcare workers as a priority. Also, it was on May 17, 1991, that the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Unfortunately, though, prejudice is deep-rooted since some people still think that being gay or lesbian is a mental disorder while others mistakenly believe that homosexuality can be "cured".

As it does each year, Fondation Émergence proposes an attention-grabbing image found on its posters, on pamphlets, and on its website at www.homophobiaday.org. A hand, in a blue medical glove, holds up a syringe but the word STOP, in large print, reminds us that "Homosexuality is not a sickness!" The pamphlet describes the evolution of health professionals' viewpoints on homosexuality, calls on workers involved to use non-biased language with consulting clients, and encourages the latter to feel comfortable talking about their sexual orientation to healthcare professionals. The posters and pamphlets are available at www.homophobiaday.org, where people can also find a large number of listed resources. This material can be ordered free of charge from the website.

The fight against homophobia requires workers involved in all communities that must participate in this effort. A large range of efforts can be undertaken such as putting up posters in waiting rooms, providing pamphlets, posting an International Day Against Homophobia banner on websites, distributing emails, asking one's municipal board to adopt a resolution to support the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17, organising activities, colloquia, conferences, reporting anti-LGBT behaviour and speech, suggesting reports to the media, and participating in the national plan to raise the Rainbow Flag for the Day on May 17.

Set up in 2000, Fondation Émergence was an initiative by Gai Écoute - a help center and info and listening line. Fondation's mission is to fight prejudice and, for the International Day Against Homophobia, an event that it began, launches an annual campaign to fight against homophobia.

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Information: Richard Rancourt, Director of Communications
Phone: 514-866-6788, cell.: 514-836-2050
Laurent McCutcheon, President, phone: 514-522-7614
www.homophobiaday.org

 

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