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17 May, 2024 15:19

NATO chief allies with gays

The secretary general of the US-led bloc has made a statement to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
NATO chief allies with gays

NATO will stand up for the rights of LGBTQ people, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared on Friday.

He was among hundreds of Western public officials, institutions and organizations to make a statement affirming the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

“NATO exists to defend 32 nations, and our peoples’ right to live freely & in peace,” Stoltenberg posted on X, formerly Twitter. “On the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia, and every day: all love is equal. LGBTQ+ people deserve respect & dignity, and I am proud to call myself your ally.”

The overwhelming majority of responses to Stoltenberg’s posts were negative, however. 

“And the relationship between a mutual defense military alliance with the rights of certain minorities is…?” one X user wondered. Others brought up the bloc’s offensive wars against Yugoslavia (1999) and Libya (2011), and the fact that it spent 20 years in Afghanistan helping the US to “replace the Taliban with the Taliban.”

“You just made me support Russia a bit more,” read another response, while someone else wondered whether the Russians had somehow managed to hack Stoltenberg’s account.

Another social media user accused him of “pinkwashing war crimes and warmongering,” using a term that describes individuals or organizations who embrace the LGBTQ agenda to deflect attention from their bad behavior.

IDAHOBIT was conceived in 2004 by a French gay activist. Organizations such as the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA), the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the World Congress of LGBT Jews and the Coalition of African Lesbians endorsed the project, leading to the first celebration in 2005. 

May 17 was chosen as the date, commemorating the removal of homosexuality from the international classification of diseases by the WHO in 1990.

“Transphobia” was added to the name in 2009, followed by “biphobia” in 2015, resulting in the acronym in its current form.