Issues that still need to be addressed for the LGBTIQ+ community in New Zealand are being highlighted today as International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) is marked.
IDAHOT, celebrated each year on 17 May, draws the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people.
The rainbow flag has been raised above parliament to mark the occasion.
Human Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley says IDAHOT is an important day, reminding people there are still significant issues facing New Zealand’s LGBITQ+ community.
“There are still important issues that need to be addressed for LGBTIQ+ people in New Zealand so they can fully enjoy their fundamental freedoms and human rights on an equal footing with others.
“Raising the rainbow flag sends a message to the LGBTIQ+ or rainbow communities that not only is Parliament a place for all people, but that the ending of violence and discrimination those communities experience remains a priority for our political leaders,” Mr Tankersley says.
On Wednesday evening the Rainbow Parliamentary Network will also host a Panel of MPs from different parties who will listen to presentations from rainbow community representatives.
The Human Rights Commission has supported the development of the event, and Commissioner Richard Tankersley will Chair the Panel.
"We're very pleased to be part of this. It's really important that our lawmakers get the chance to listen to community leaders as they outline these outstanding issues,” Mr Tankersley says.