Today's the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). It's a good time to remember that despite all the work we've done here in the US, there are still so many countries throughout the world that pretend like they have the right to criminalize and kill people because of their sexualities. From their website:
Today around 80 countries in the world still criminalize homosexuality and condemn consensual same sex acts with imprisonment, of these 9 (Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen) still have the death penalty. Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity is still not recognized formally by the member states of the United Nations (even though human rights mechanisms such as the Human Rights Committee have repeatedly condemned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity).The US would have been on that list up until 2003.
One only needs to look around the world to see that heterosexual supremacy is alive and well in 2007. In Jamaica, anti-gay attacks and murders are common. Nigeria is trying to make it illegal for gay people to talk to one another or organize. Russian queers are losing ground in the fight to even have a Pride parade, while ours have become too commercialized for comfort. In Iran, 80 "suspected homosexuals" were arrested for going to a party, and two were so afraid of being arrested they jumped out of the second floor window. Iraqi death squads have been targeting gays and lesbians after the US invasion of that country.
And I could go on and on. The point is, there's still lots of work to be done for our queer family in other countries.