United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice on Friday called for an end to homophobia in a video message commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

“Today, as we commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, we rededicate ourselves to a basic but essential truth – that human rights are universal and must be protected for all,” Rice says in the nearly 2-minute video. “Homophobia, sadly, is present in every corner of our world. And, it is a problem we continue to face here in the United States.”

“At the United Nations, the United States is standing up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and fighting to ensure that their voices are heard and protected. The United States was proud to co-sponsor and adopt an historic resolution at the UN Human Rights Council condemning human rights abuses and violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“We will continue to work in every possible arena to protect communities and promote societies in which everyone – especially LGBT youth – can live safely and without fear regardless of who they are or whom they love. We call on all nations and all peoples to join us in ensuring that human rights are universally protected everywhere every day.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

The annual May 17th event is the brainchild of Louis-Georges Tin, a professor and author of a number of books, including the Dictionary of Homophobia. IDAHO celebrates the 1990 date homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Classifications of Diseases.