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On May 17, we commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), marking the day in 1990 that the World Health Organization (WHO) delisted “homosexuality” as a medical diagnosis. We reaffirm that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons are entitled to recognition of their universal human rights.

In keeping with the WHO’s determination, last year, President Biden directed the U.S. government to promote an end to so-called “conversion therapy practices” around the world. Conversion therapy is a scientifically discredited practice that can cause significant physical and psychiatric harm, and in certain circumstances may amount to torture.

As we mark this year’s IDAHOBIT, the United States reaffirms our commitment to exposing the harm conversion therapy practices cause to LGBTQI+ persons. We reaffirm the importance of ensuring access to evidence-based healthcare without discrimination or stigma regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics. We recommit to opposing the criminalization of LGBTQI+ status or conduct, which can drive the pathologizing of LGBTQI+ persons and the practice of so-called conversion therapy. We confirm that conversion therapy practices are inconsistent with U.S. nondiscrimination policies and ineligible for support through taxpayer-funded foreign assistance grants and contracts.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future