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On 17th May 2006, Aurora marked IDAHO, the International Day Against HOmophobia, with a short ceremony in the foyer of the Town Hall.
The meeting was attended by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people; parents, couples and singles; black, white and Asian.
We were honoured that the Borough Commander, Mark Gore, attended in person, with some senior police officers.
We read the names and very brief stories of a few of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people who have been persecuted or murdered in atrocities across the world. There has been a marked upsurge of these stories in the past year.
We observed one minute's silence, along with other events in London, in the rest of the UK and in 50 countries across the world.
Then members of Aurora committed themselves to those who suffer hate crime because of their sexual identity, in all cultures and all social groups in Croydon.
- Aurora supported the forthcoming London campaign against bullying
and committed to promoting it in schools in Croydon.
- It committed to involve more black and minority ethnic people in
Aurora, to study and to address the policing issues that they raise.
- It committed to address some of the problems of gay asylum seekers
who are processed through Lunar House in Croydon, to communicate to
them the services provided for them and to address the fear of the
police that easily leaves them as isolated, vulnerable to exploitation
and outside the justice system.
- It committed to support the project to increase the safety of transsexual people and address the difficulty that many male to female transsexuals have in getting timely support services when they break down on a motorway.
We intend that LGBT people should be able to live with dignity, respect, and in safety, and free from verbal harassment in our own neighbourhood.
The event was supported by over a dozen individuals and organisations including two of our MPs, and many with specialist expertise and valuable experience sent statements of support.
After the ceremony Aurora began its May meeting in which we began working on each of these points.
For details of IDAHO worldwide, see: www.idahomophobia.org