Posts Tagged 'homophobia'

Civil Society Groups Condemn Increasing Homophobic and Transphobic Violence in the Caribbean

The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and other civil society groups in the region are condemning increasing homophobic and transphobic violence in the Caribbean.GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and other civil society groups in the region are condemning increasing homophobic and transphobic violence in the Caribbean. CVC and its partners are deeply concerned by a stream of reports coming from Caribbean civil society organizations about incidents of violence towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

The groups are disturbed by the anti-gay march held by evangelical churches last week in Haiti, and the alleged violence towards LGBT people afterwards.

“We are truly saddened by reports from Jamaica last week that a gender non-conforming 17-year-old was mob attacked and stabbed to death in Montego Bay. CVC extends it condolences to the families and friends of those affected by this hate-fueled violence,” the group said in a statement.

CVC said these tragic events are not isolated acts but instead a reflection of systematic discrimination and violence experienced by Caribbean LGBT people, particularly the most visible and vulnerable.

Organizations such as United and Strong in St Lucia, United Belize Advocacy Movement in Belize, and Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) in Jamaica, Trans Always Friends (TRANSSA) and the Community of Trans-Transvestite Dominican Sex Workers (CONTRAVETD) in the Dominican Republic often have to deal with similar threats, harassment and violence towards their communities because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

“This violence is a consequence of fundamentalist and hateful discourses towards LGBT communities and is likely to be replicated if urgent action is not taken,” the CVC said.

“We call on our allies involved in Caribbean struggles for social justice – progressive faith leaders, trade unions, feminist organizations, and civil liberties groups – to join us in denouncing and challenging fundamentalist views which fuel violence towards LGBT people in our region. Hate speech and extremism have no place in our Caribbean democracies, where resistance against discrimination, unity, and strength in diversity are hallmarks of our shared history. These hateful views do not reflect the teachings of the region’s religions that variously emphasize respect for diversity, non-violence, justice and unconditional love as their cornerstone values,” the statement continued.

The group demanded greater protection from Caribbean governments for all LGBT people, legal frameworks that guarantee human rights protection, and investment in mechanisms that effectively respond to violence. It also called on Caribbean states to ensure that in no circumstance is the right to freedom of expression allowed to endanger the right to life, liberty and security of person, and to the right to privacy.

“Without challenging fundamentalist discourses which undermine dignity and rights, and continuing to foster a culture of human rights, Caribbean states cannot expect to develop, and we as Caribbean citizens cannot expect a better future for our families or children,” CVC said.

“We stand in solidarity with all Caribbean civil society organizations and movements working towards more just and equal societies, where everyone’s rights and dignity are respected,” the statement concluded.

http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-Fundamentalism-has-no-place-in-Caribbean-societies%2C-says-community-group-17015.html

Study finds more countries accepting homosexuality

repost from AFP

WASHINGTON — The vast majority of countries around the world have become more accepting of homosexuality, with the exception of Russia and other former socialist countries, a new study has found.

The report, compiled by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, examined general trends in over 30 countries regarding their attitudes towards homosexuality, and is based on five surveys conducted in different countries between 1988 and 2008. Continue reading ‘Study finds more countries accepting homosexuality’

Gays in Africa face growing persecution, activists say

repost from the Washington Post

By Sudarsan Raghavan
Washington Post | Foreign Service
Sunday, December 12, 2010; A12

KAMPALA, UGANDA – Persecution of gays is intensifying across Africa, fueled by fundamentalist preachers, intolerant governments and homophobic politicians. Gay people have been denied access to health care, detained, tortured and even killed, human rights activists and witnesses say.

The growing tide of homophobia comes at a time when gays in Africa are expressing themselves more openly, prompting greater media attention and debates about homosexuality. The rapid growth of Islam and evangelical forms of Christianity, both espousing conservative views on family values and marriage, have persuaded many Africans that homosexuality should not be tolerated in their societies.

“It has never been harder for gays and lesbians on the continent,” said Monica Mbaru, Africa coordinator for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, based in Cape Town. “Homophobia is on the rise.”

Fearing for their lives, many activists are in hiding or have fled their countries.

In Uganda, a bill introduced in parliament last year would impose the death penalty for repeated same-sex relations and life imprisonment for other homosexual acts. Local newspapers are outing gays, potentially inciting the public to attack them, activists say.

A day after a newspaper article said that gays should be hanged, Sheila Hope Mugisha became a target. As the prominent gay rights activist neared her home, she said, boys from the neighborhood threw stones at the gate and chanted, “You are a homo.” Mugisha ran inside and locked the door. She didn’t leave for several days.

“Here, homosexuality is like you have killed someone,” she said.

American gay activists have sent money to help the community here. Western governments – including aid donors – have vocally criticized the bill and denounced the treatment of gays.

That has angered conservative pastors here, many of whom are influenced by American anti-gay Christian groups and politicians who say that African values are under attack by Western attitudes. They say their goal is to change the sexual behavior of gays, not to physically harm them.

“In Uganda, we look at homosexuality as an abomination. It is not normal,” said Nsaba Butoro, Uganda’s minister on ethics and integrity and a vocal supporter of the bill. “You are talking about a clash of cultures. The question is: Which culture is superior, the African one or the Western one?” Continue Reading


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