A human rights delegation lead by Kerry Kennedy, President of The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, met with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on Monday. Kennedy expressed concerns about the the pending “Anti-Homosexuality” bill among other issues such as the privacy of sexual minorities. Museveni said that he would investigate the allegations of violence toward sexual minorities. Museveni also said that there is no discrimination, no killings, no marginalization and no luring of young people using money into homosexual acts in Uganda.
Archive for the 'Uganda' Category
Tags: Africa, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Kerry Kennedy, Lesbian, LGBT, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, sexual orientation, Transgender, Uganda
Tags: Africa, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, Desmond Tutu, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, OpEd, sexual orientation
As it appeared today in Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper
To Ugandan MPs: God does not discriminate among our family
Uganda’s Parliament is – unbelievably – on the verge of considering a new piece of legislation that would have the effect of legalising persecution, discrimination, hatred and prejudice in that country.
Should the Anti-Homosexuality Bill be voted into law, it will criminalise acts of love between certain categories of people, just as the apartheid government made intimate relations between black and white South Africans a punishable offence.
Members of the apartheid police force charged with the upkeep of “morality” would rush into the bedrooms of suspected offenders to gather evidence, such as warm bed sheets. Those found guilty were arrested, put on trial and punished. What awaits the people of Uganda?
One thing that Ugandan legislators should know is that God does not discriminate among members of our family. God does not say black is better than white, or tall is better than short, or football players are better than basketball players, or Christians are better than Muslims… or gay is better than straight. No. God says love one another; love your neighbour. God is for freedom, equality and love. Continue reading
Tags: Africa, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Johnnie Carson, Lesbian, LGBT, Museveni, sexual orientation, State Department, US State Department
Repost from The Washington Blade
The top U.S. diplomat in Africa met over the weekend with leaders in Uganda to express concerns about an anti-gay bill pending before the country’s parliament that could be headed for a vote as soon as this week, according to the State Department.
Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokesperson, said during a daily briefing Monday that Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson met with high-profile leaders in Uganda “over the weekend” and raised concerns about the bill, which among other things would punish homosexual acts with life in prison. The questioning was initiated by the Washington Blade.
“As we have regularly said, we call on the parliament of Uganda to look very carefully at this because Uganda’s own Human Rights Council has made clear that if this were to pass, it would put the country out of compliance with its own international human rights obligations,” Nuland said. “And so, Assistant Secretary Carson had a chance to make that point again and our strong opposition to this, to the president, to the parliament and to key decision makers in Uganda.” Continue Reading
Tags: Africa, AIDS, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, Foreign Aid, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, sexual orientation, Transgender, Uganda
Repost from The Washington Blade
Movement on a draconian anti-gay bill in Uganda is raising concerns the legislation may be headed toward passage in the coming weeks, although it’s questionable whether the infamous death penalty provision remains in the bill.
Mark Bromley, chair of the Council for Global Equality in the United States, said the legislation — which has drawn the ire of the international community for its proposed incarceration of gay people and concerns it would institute the death penalty for homosexual acts — seems likely headed for a floor vote in the coming weeks before the legislature adjourns on Dec. 14.
“All indications are that it’s really going to come up for a vote this time,” Bromley said. “We hear from several sources that it won’t come up until at least mid-week next week and probably maybe even a little bit later, but everyone we’ve talked to is pretty concerned that it really is going to come for a vote before the parliament recesses for the holidays, so sometime before mid-December.”
Media reports indicated that the bill on Friday had passed the committee of jurisdiction in the Uganda parliament.
Frank Mugisha, an activist coordinating Sexual Minorities Uganda, issued a statement to supporters on Friday decrying the legislation just before the committee acted on it.
“The bill does little more than to entrench stigma and prejudice, which will polarize the Ugandan society further and undermine public health efforts to combat the spread of HIV,” Mugisha said. “It places a total ban on public discussion of an issue whose existence cannot be wished away. If the bill is adopted, it will make Uganda a pariah in the international community. We therefore urge the Ugandan Parliament to reject this bill in its entirety.” Continue Reading
Tags: Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Lesbian, LGBT, sexual orientation, Uganda
(Nairobi, August 21, 2012) – Research and advocacy organizations in Uganda that deal with controversial topics are facing increasing harassment by Uganda’s government, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Groups have recently faced forced closure of meetings, threats, harassment, arrest, and punitive bureaucratic interference. The Ugandan government should end its hostile rhetoric and repeated obstructions of nongovernmental organizations, Human Rights Watch said.
The 50-page report, “Curtailing Criticism: Intimidation and Obstruction of Civil Society in Uganda,” documents increasing government attacks on organizations whose focus includes oil revenue transparency, land acquisition compensation, legal and governance reform, and protection of human rights, particularly the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Both government ministers and district-level officials have engaged in obstruction, Human Rights Watch said. Continue reading ‘Uganda: Growing Intimidation, Threats to Civil Society’
U.S. Embassy Kampala, Uganda
August 3, 2012
Thank you so much. Well, I am very pleased to be here once again in Kampala and to have the opportunity to present the State Department’s 2011 Human Rights Defenders Award to not just one person, but to a coalition of groups that are standing up for human rights and setting an example for how civil society can work together in common cause.
Now I know our meeting has been months in the making, but I am so delighted to be here in person to meet each of you – some of you I’ve met before, but not all of you – and to put everybody’s face and name and organization together.
Since I became Secretary, we have worked to elevate the role of civil society, and especially groups that promote human rights. And so we want to be your partners as well to help bend the arc of history toward justice and to help more people lead lives of dignity and opportunity. The work you are doing is helping to make human rights a human reality. You are tearing down barriers that prevent people from enjoying the full measure of liberty, the full experience of dignity, the full benefits of humanity. And this coalition shows what can happen when brave change-makers come together.
I’ve said before it is critical for all Ugandans – the government and citizens alike – to speak out against discrimination, harassment, and intimidation of anyone. That’s true no matter where they come from, what they believe, or whom they love. And no one has been a stronger champion than all of you. You’ve been organized, disciplined, and savvy. You have marshaled the evidence and made the arguments using the rights enshrined in Uganda’s constitution and in international law. And by doing so, you are a model for others and an inspiration to the world.
I’m well aware that you do your work often amidst difficult, even dangerous circumstances. I know that some of your lives have been threatened, your friends and families intimidated. But I want you to know that the United States is and will be your partner. I raised these issues with President Museveni today, because this isn’t just about carving out special privileges for any one group; this is about making sure universal rights are protected for all people. A violation of anyone’s rights is a violation of everyone’s rights.
Standing up for human rights is not always popular, but it is always honorable. And I am delighted to present you with this award to celebrate the work of this coalition to defend the human rights of all Ugandans.
Let me come over here, and we’ll have a picture. (Applause.)
Tags: Africa, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Human Rights Defenders Award, Lesbian, LGBT, sexual orientation, Transgender, Uganda, US State Department
U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
May 18, 2012
The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that Ales Byalyatski of Belarus and Uganda’s Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law are the joint winners of the 2011 Human Rights Defenders Award. This award recognizes individuals or non-governmental organizations that show exceptional valor and leadership in advocating the protection of human rights and democracy in the face of government repression. Continue reading ‘Winners of the Human Rights Defenders Award’
Tags: Africa, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, exual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Frank Mugisha, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, Nobel Peace Prize, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, sexual orientation
Repost from The Windy City Times
On April 22-25, Nobel Peace Prize laureates will gather in Chicago for the Nobel Summit, and Ugandan LGBTI activist Frank Mugisha will be there to ask the laureates to publicly recognize LGBTI rights as human rights.
Mugisha is working to raise awareness about the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda and other African countries through his work as the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). Although LGBTI visibility has increased in African nations, many countries have laws, or are considering laws, that criminalize homosexuality—some with the punishment of death.
He believes that one of the most effective ways to stop the sanctioned brutality against LGBTI individuals is through human-rights leaders around the world acknowledging LGBTI rights as human rights. He was disheartened recently when Nobel Peace Prize winner and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was quoted in the Guardian supporting the criminalization of homosexuality and referring to her country’s traditional values.
Mugisha received the 2011 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and the 2011 Rafto Prize for Human Rights from the Rafto Foundation in Norway for his work. He spoke with Windy City Times by email about his upcoming visit. Continue Reading.
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) Outraged by the Closure of the LGBTI Capacity Development Workshop by the State Minister of Ethics and Integrity Rev. Fr. Simon LokodoPublished February 15, 2012 Africa , Anti-Homosexuality Bill , Uganda Leave a Comment
Tags: Africa, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, Frank Mugisha, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, Sexual Minorities Uganda, sexual orientation, SMUG, Transgender, Uganda
KAMPALA- February 15, 2012
Exactly one week after the re-tabling of the Anti Homosexuality Bill (2009) by MP David Bahati, a workshop organized by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights defenders was invaded and shut down in Entebbe. The State Minister for Ethics and Integrity in the Office of the President, Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo, in the company of an aide and the police, announced that the workshop was illegal and ordered the meeting to close immediately or else force would be used to end the meeting.
“I have closed this conference because it is illegal. We do not accept homosexuality in Uganda. So go back home,” Mr Lokodo told the workshop participants.
SMUG condemns this outright abuse of office by the State Minister of Ethics and Integrity.
According to Frank Mugisha one of the Coordinators of the Capacity Development workshop and present at the time; ‘’Closing our workshop today totally violates our constitutional rights and this intimidation will not stop us from fighting, for equal treatment of all Ugandan citizens.’’ Frank Mugisha is the Executive Director of SMUG and 2011 Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award Laureate
The Minister also ordered the arrest of Kasha Jacqueline Nabagasera, the Executive Director of Freedom and Roam Uganda and 2011 Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders when she dared to challenge him for disrupting the workshop. Kasha with the help of colleagues was whisked out of the hotel to safety. Continue reading ‘Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) Outraged by the Closure of the LGBTI Capacity Development Workshop by the State Minister of Ethics and Integrity Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo’
Tags: Africa, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, sexual orientation, Transgender, Uganda
Repost from The Advocate
The man running outreach to faith-based communities for Republican Michele Bachmann’s nomination campaign has been tied to the key backer of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.
The Atlantic reports that Peter E. Waldron had tried to be coy about his identity when confronted, at first refusing to provide his name, but journalist Garance Franke-Ruta discovered that the evangelical pastor was once imprisoned in Uganda for a supposed terrorism plot.
A film about Waldron’s experience is apparently in the works, titled The Ultimate Price: The Peter E. Waldron Story. While Waldron was in Uganda from 2002 to 2006, the Republican political activist was reportedly arrested with a small weapons cache. The details are murky but he spent more than a month in prison.
The surfacing of this name, tied to Uganda, got people wondering. And it turns out Waldron was spotted by happenstance while visiting the church of staunchly antigay, and dangerous, pastor Martin Ssempa. A journalist with The New Republic, Andrew Rice, bumped into them together while researching an article on evangelicals in the country. Continue Reading