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Uganda LGBT rights and marriage equality

 

Six LGBT People Stoned to Death in Uganda

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Uganda - Google MapsSources are reporting that a mob stoned six LGBT individuals in a rural part of Uganda this last week.

Joe.My.God reports:

According to an as yet unconfirmed report, six LGBT persons have been stoned to death by a mob in rural Uganda. A seventh person was reportedly beaten to death. Via press release from the Safe Passage Fund: Over the past week, Ugandan activists have reported the horrific murders of six LGBT individuals in a rural zone of the country: three gay men, two lesbians and a transperson. They were killed by stoning. One who survived (still breathing after stoning) was burnt alive using kerosene/paraffin and a match box,” stated a witness and source to the Friends New Underground Railroad (FNUR), a Quaker solidarity initiative helping LGBT people in Uganda. A seventh gay man was reported to have been attacked by a mob and died a day later from head injuries.

There simply are no words for this kind of horrible brutality.

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Image via Google Maps

Uganda: Court Strikes Down Anti Gay Law

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Big news out of Uganda – the country’s Constitutional Court just struck down the draconian anti gay law on a technicality.

Think Progress reports:

Uganda’s Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, has struck down the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Law, ruling that Parliament passed it illegally. House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, a proponent of the policy, ignored a quorum call before holding a vote last December with less than a third of lawmakers present. As one of the judges explained, “The illegal act of the Speaker tainted the process and rendered it a nullity.” The Court did not weigh the merits of the bill, which criminalized homosexuality and advocacy for gay rights with life sentences in prison.

So, basically, there’s nothing to stop them from passing it again the “right” way. But still…

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Anti-Gay Ugandan to Become President of United Nations Assembly

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Sam KutesaThe rotating annual position is due to go to a man who claims most Africans abhor gays.

Pink News reports:

An anti-gay Ugandan politician is set to become the next head of the United Nations General Assembly, causing outrage among rights groups. Sam Kutesa serves as Ugandan Foreign Minister under President Museveni, who recently introduced a strict anti-gay law in the country, with heavy punishments for offenders. Kutesa, who previously claimed that the majority of Africans “abhor” homosexuality, will become President of the General Assembly next month without a single vote cast, having been selected by the African Union in a traditionally unchallenged appointment. The annually rotated position is “elected by acclamation”, with incumbent John William Ashe selected last year by the UN’s Latin American and Caribbean Group.

It’s disgusting that someone with such a terrible civil rights track record would be chosen to lead the UN Assembly.

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I Declare This Mount Gay!

Friday, April 25th, 2014

GottliebMountain-1

A mountaineer climbed Uganda’s highest peak to plant a rainbow flag.

Joe.My.God reports:

Mountaineer Neil Gottlieb climbed to the summit of Uganda’s tallest mountain, posted a rainbow flag, and claimed the peak in the name of gay rights. He then issued an open letter to President Yoweri Museveni: On April 16, 2014, after a 6-day climb, I summited your country’s tallest peak, Mount Stanley’s 16,753 foot tall Margherita Peak, and mounted a gay pride flag at its summit in protest of your country’s criminalization of homosexuality. Your country’s highest point is no longer its soil, its snow or a summit marker, but rather a gay pride flag waving brilliantly, shining down from above as a sign of protest and hope behalf of the many thousands of Ugandans that you seek to repress and the many more that understand the hideous nature of your repressive legislation.

You gotta love this story – a little gay island in the heart of Uganda.

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UK: Same-Sex Marriage Dawns, Equality Fight Continues

Sunday, April 6th, 2014
Warren Hartley and Kieran Bohan sign the Schedule of Civil Partnership at Ullet Unitarian Church in Liverpool

FIRST FOR EQUALITY: My partner and I become legally recognised as a couple on May 6th 2012 – the first time a civil partnership was registered in a place of worship in the UK.
PHOTO: Simply Perfection

THE CLOCKS WENT FORWARD in the UK last weekend, in more ways than one. The official start of British Summer Time with daylight saving coincided with the legalisation of same-sex marriages in England and Wales. So began an extraordinary week for LGBT equality.

On Saturday March 29th, lesbian and gay couples around the country vied to be the first to be legally married, with several timing their services as close to midnight as possible:

NEWS: Same-sex marriage now legal as first couples wed

An estimated 70 couples across England and Wales took advantage of the change in law on Saturday, and the media was filled with mostly positive portrayals of this landmark for equality.

A BBC survey revealed that 80% of people would attend a gay wedding if invited (though their headline focussed on the negative responses:

NEWS: Gay weddings: ‘Fifth of Britons would turn down invitation’

Twitter feeds filled with supportive messages from celebrities. Actor and comedian Les Dennis tweeted:

Sadly it was not all good news.

Click to continue »

Uganda: Anglican Bishop Provides Haven for Gays

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Reverend Christopher Senyonjo

Photo by Michael Key

And now for our Hero of the week – an Anglican Bishop in Uganda who is standing up to the country’s harsh new anti gay law.

The Washington Blade reports:

Rev. Christopher Senyonjo’s makeshift church in the Ugandan capital of Kampala has attracted many gays who are familiar with his sympathetic views in a country where anti-gay religious fervor has encouraged public anger and violence against homosexuals. The AP reports: “They said I should condemn the homosexuals,” he said, referring to Anglican leaders in Uganda. “I can’t do that, because I was called to serve all people, including the marginalized. But they say I am inhibited until I recant. I am still a member of the Anglican church.”…

“Our relationship is one of giving support to each other. The backlash that we receive is equally the same,” said Pepe Julian Onziema, a prominent gay leader in Uganda, who added that Senyonjo has taken “a very courageous and brave stand.”

If only more men and women of faith in Africa would stand up for the oppressed LGBT community there. Kudos to Reverend Senyonjo.

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Uganda: Pastors Lead Anti-Gay Pride March

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Things continue to get uglier for Uganda’s LGBT community. On Sunday, a group of anti-gay pastors led a march through West Budama to “abolish” the gays.

Gay Star News reports:

Religious leaders marched in Uganda to drum up yet more hate for LGBTI people and back the new anti-gay law. Pastors led people through West Budama, east Uganda, yesterday (23 March) to show the public is in favor of ‘abolishing’ homosexuality. In a video posted on YouTube, a religious leader can be repeatedly seen shouting ‘No gays! No gays everywhere!’ to the sound of cheers and chanting.

In related news, the US is considering more cuts in aid to Uganda.

Joe.My.God reports:

Unnamed sources tell Buzzfeed that the Obama administration will take four new and immediate steps in reaction to Uganda’s criminalization of homosexuality. Money will be shifted away from the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, a group that has publicly come out in support of the anti-gay law and has received millions of dollars in grants from the United States to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Some $2.3 million will continue to go to the IRCU to continue treatment for some 50,000 current patients, but an additional $6.4 million intended for the IRCU will go to other organizations.

And a retired Ghana MP thinks Africa should continue on its anti-gay path, despite boycotts and aid cuts.

Gay Star News reports:

Mike Ocquaye, deputy speaker of Ghana’s Parliament until January last year, believes that a closer relationship with Asia and refusing to buy products produced by Western nations will allow African countries to resist efforts to curb the persecution of LGBTI people across the African continent. ‘They should think again,’ Ocquaye was reported as saying by GhanaWeb over the weekend, ‘The balance of trade between African nations and Western nations shows that they have huge surpluses in their favor.’ ‘Western Banks, telephone companies, oil companies, cocoa-buying companies benefit tremendously from us.’

Where is the support in most of Africa for the LGBT community there?

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Cartoonist Mark Fiore Calls Out Anti Gay US Preachers

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Scott Lively - Mark FioreCartoonist Mark Fiore just released a video calling out the anti-gay preachers who went to Uganda to preach hate, and now are shocked, SHOCKED at the anti gay law there.

Joe.My.God reports:

Since Uganda’s anti-gay law was signed recently, it’s been amusing (and maddening) to watch various religious right characters scurry for cover. When nobody was watching, the holier-than-thou set have been visiting Uganda preaching their extreme anti-gay views. Now that people are appalled at Uganda’s life-in-prison-for-homosexuals law, the “evangelical” right-wing preachers are laying low or rewriting history.

How fantastic to see these pompous hate-mongers get skewered.

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Uganda: Lawsuit Filed Against New Anti Gay Law

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

It looks like Uganda’s LGBT community is not going down without a fight. A lawsuit was filed against the new harsh anti gay law yesterday.

O-blog-dee-o-blog-da reports:

Today advocates from the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRSL) filed a constitutional challenge to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA). The team that filed the petition consists of seven advocates from five law firms, who have consulted with at least 20 lawyers worldwide. The petitioners maintain that the recently enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act violates the LGBT community’s right to privacy, freedoms of expression, assembly and association which are all guaranteed in the Ugandan Constitution.

We have no idea what the lawsuit’s chances are in this homophobic country, but it’s refreshing to see at least a small step in the right direction there.

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Living Under Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Richard LusimboLast Friday, Richard Lusimbo woke up to discover his face on the front of the Ugandan tabloid, Red Pepper, which had been outing known homosexuals all week. The headline beside Lusimbo’s photo read “How I became Homo.”

LusimboLusimbo is the research manager for SMUG (Sexual Minorities in Uganda – Facebook) and as of last Monday, February 24th, his organization was officially declared illegal when President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Law. I caught up with Lusimbo last week after he spoke on a panel at RightsCon in San Francisco, a conference hosted by Access, an international human rights organization that defends and extends digital rights of users at risk around the world.

“What happened when you discovered your face on the front of Red Pepper?” I asked Lusimbo. “At that moment I felt weak, not because I was scared for being outed, I felt weak because I didn’t know what the reaction was going to be; the info was misleading. “When I logged onto Facebook I found so many hate messages. ‘If I see you I’m going to kill you. You are such a disappointment.’ I had to deactivate my Facebook account. My phone wouldn’t stop ringing. My father was very disappointed. He always said, be whoever you are, do what ever you do, but don’t be in the media and there I was being exposed.”

Authored By Paul Hunter – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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