Next Wednesday 17 May is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
The day was first celebrated in 2004 and initially commemorated the date that homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization.
This year's theme "Love Makes a Family" focuses on the importance of celebrating family diversity. This year's events will also recognise the horrific abuse and murder of gay men in Chechnya. The importance of recognising and challenging bigotry and hatred towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer [LGBTIQ] community has never been more pressing.
According to research, 85 per cent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people in New South Wales have experienced some form of violence, harassment or intimidation.
I note the recent Keep Newtown Weird and Safe Festival in Newtown, which focused attention on the unacceptable levels on street violence faced by the LGBTIQ community.
I acknowledge also the events being held across the State to observe International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
I thank all those who organised events and who are participating in the celebrations, and wish them all the best.