New Foreign Office minister marks IDAHO

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New Foreign Office minister for Europe David Lidington has released a message to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

Mr Lidington, a Conservative MP, said the Foreign Office was “committed to promoting British values” abroad, including LGBT rights.

His message said: “The UK has a long and proud history of defending the basic rights and freedoms of the oppressed and vulnerable.

“We are committed to promoting British values overseas and to placing human rights at the heart of foreign policy.

“Everyone, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should be free to enjoy the rights and freedoms to which people of all nations are entitled.”

During Labour’s term in office, the Foreign Office usually issued messages for such events and there was speculated whether the custom would continue under the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

On Friday, the Foreign Office said it could not confirm whether a message would be released as it had not yet been allocated a junior minister.

IDAHO is held every year on May 17th because on this date in 1990 the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

On last year’s IDAHO, the French government announced it would become the first country in the world to declassify transgenderism as a mental illness. The change came into effect in February.