On this date in 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses—which is why May 17 is now the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). There are events being held around the world to mark the occasion.
Former Vice President Joe Biden wrote yesterday in the Washington Post about the day, noting both progress and problems in LGBTQ human rights around the world. He calls on governments, the foreign-policy community, and business leaders to take action, and pledges, “The Biden Foundation has prioritized promoting LGBT equality and will use its resources to convene networks and catalyze action on issues ranging from transgender equality to LGBT youths to global human rights.”
Here’s what President Obama had to say about it last year. Hillary Clinton mentioned it way back in 2011 when she was Secretary of State, and tweeted about it last year. So far, no word from President Trump or anyone in his administration.
Additionally, starting on May 17, 2004, same-sex couples could legally marry in Massachusetts—the first U.S. state to permit them to do so. (Bonus LGBTQ parenting fun fact: Four of the five plaintiff couples in the lawsuit that won marriage equality were parents.)
And on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark decision striking down racial segregation in education.
Take a moment today to celebrate how far we’ve come, even as we acknowledge the work left to do—and go do it.