Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Gay People 'Repugnant' in Kenya

Kenya is currently using its legislative might to bar LGBTI rights organisations. Today's message from one organisation who tried to register:

VERY IMPORTANT: The Government of Kenya sent me a letter explaining why they will not register the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. The reasons are: 

1) gay and lesbian liaisons are criminalised in section 162 of the penal code. 
2) the words gay and lesbian are repugnant and undesirable. 
3) the constitution of Kenya has no mention of sexual orientation as a protected ground from discrimination and; 
4) same sex marriages are illegal in Kenya. 

After months of exchanging fiery letters, they told me last week that the constitutional court doors are open - which is where I am heading today to file a suit under the freedom of association. I am implementing the constitution we voted for in 2010.


Friends, join me in signing and sharing this petition to advance the freedom of association and democracy in Kenya.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Pope Pontificates

Pope Francis

In the biggest U-turn since the letter U was invented, Pope Francis decides that it is not his place to judge gay people who want to turn to God.

In a generous departure from years of the Catholic Church judging and persecuting gay people, Pope Francis has postulated that perhaps it is not his place to judge 'people like this'. 

Although, he hasn't fallen back on the age old addendum 'I have a gay friend...' because he's been checking everyone's identity cards in the Vatican and - surprise, surprise - nobody has elected to put that on their ID.

You can listen to his speech online: Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people?

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Tutu: Hell Over Heaven

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he'd rather go to Hell than be in a homophobic Heaven
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The incredible Archbishop Tutu, who has spoken out so eloquently in favour of LGBTI rights in the past, has once again reaffirmed those sentiments:

“I would refuse to go to a homophobic Heaven,” Archbishop Tutu said at the launch of a new LGBT global public education campaign by the United Nations Human Rights Office. He added: “No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.

“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about Apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”...

“I think it’s as utterly unjust as racism ever was.”

Well said that man.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Thomas Street's Poisoned Cup

The Family have set up a coffee company called Thomas Street Coffee. Taking coffee from Uganda, and selling it to fan the flames of homophobia in the exact same country.

Nope. There are no depths to which these people will not sink.

The American Family Association has launched the Thomas Street Coffee Company to “help share the gospel of Christ with unreached people,” and to harvest not only coffee beans from developing nations, but to convert growers and their workers into Christians — while harvesting the profits of unsuspecting indigenous peoples....

While we’re not exactly sure what “unreached people groups” are, we’re certainly sure what “TSC helps underwrite the ministry of our parent organization, The American Family Association” means. It means that every cup of Thomas Street Coffee sold, every pound, goes toward furthering an agenda of anti-gay hate. That is strong coffee!

The coffee is sold in blends with names like “Courage,” and “Relationship,” and by country of origin, like Honduras, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda — a favorite of American evangelicals.

There's big money in coffee, so make sure people know what they're drinking. 

Thomas Street Coffee is on Facebook and Twitter.

Tell them what you think.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pillay Calls for LGBTI Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has called for a systematic response to homophobic violence and discrimination. This message was screened during a conference on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Oslo, Norway - held on 15 - 16 April 2013.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Mugabe Fails to Grasp Anatomy

Everyone's least favourite lunatic is on the rampage again.

This time Mugabe asks the question: Was Obama born out of homosexuality?

President Robert Mugabe yesterday criticised US president, Barack Obama for advocating for homosexuality...

"Then we have this American president, Obama, born of an African father, who is saying we will not give you aid if you don't embrace homosexuality," President Mugabe said.

"We ask, was he born out of homosexuality? We need continuity in our race, and that comes from the woman, and no to homosexuality. John and John, no; Maria and Maria, no. Kana zvirizvo, tovavharira five years mumba imwe, murume nemurume, vobuda vane vana two. If they don't, we will cut their heads off.

No, Mugabe. I think if homosexual couples could give birth to children there would be less of an equal rights campaign to fight right now. Though you are making a shining case for aid investment in basic primary education in Africa.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

SMUG Launch New Page

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), the coalition of LGBTI rights groups in the country, will be closing down their Facebook group and switching to a Facebook page. Pepe posted to say:

Dear Comrades, Allies, Friends and wellwishers, Please like our page and follow our work. This Group where we currently have 1,129 members will be deactivated over the next couple of months. Go like us now and be part of our of our work and life. Keep on Keepin' on.

Give it a thumbs-up to stay in the loop.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Cameroon Activist Beaten to Death

Eric O. Lembembe
Eric Ohena Lembembe

In a brutal attack eerily reminiscent of the murder of David Kato, an LGBTI journalist and activist, Eric Lembembe, has been beaten to death in Cameroon: Beating death of LGBT activist Eric Lembembe in Cameroon

LGBT activist and reporter Eric Ohena Lembembe was beaten to death over the weekend, LGBT activists in Cameroon announced today.

Fellow activists said they found his bloody, lifeless body early today at his home in Yaoundé,  Cameroon.

There is currently an AllOut online petition.

 Our thoughts are with Lembembe's family and friends.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Elton John Slates AHB

Well, there's nothing honourable about Kill the Gays bill orchestrator David Bahati, but the picture will have to do.

Not a paper known for its snappy titles or inclusive use of language, but an interesting addendum:

It should be noted that Ndorwa West MP David Bahati who is renowned for the anti-gay bill was forced to cut his visit to the United States short after Gay community demonstrated against him setting foot on US soil.

Uganda: Paradise for American Evangelists

Street preacher in Kampala, Uganda.

Here's a really good interview with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, who made God Loves Uganda.

He really nails the reasons why Uganda attracts so many evangelical nutters:

I agree that Scott Lively is marginal, and that is exactly why evangelicals must not let him speak for them. But in Uganda, Scott Lively is allowed to address the parliament for five hours, and his hate-filled message led directly to the anti-homosexuality bill. Why have no evangelical leaders stood up and said he does not speak for us?...

[Ordinary Ugandas]... embrace [evangelical preachers] because they represent everything that America represents: money, power, and freedom. Why else would you see an old Ugandan woman respectfully listen to a 22-year-old white girl from America telling her what she should or shouldn't believe? What is so attractive about Uganda for missionaries is that they have free rein. They can go anywhere they please—schools, hospitals, the parliament. The first lady of Uganda is a devoted evangelical and beloved by the faith community. At an evangelical conference in Argentina, one minister said, "Mama Janet has given us the keys to Africa." She has done that by creating a nation that has embraced a Dominionist form of Christianity that believes that Christians have a God-given right to rule the world.

Of course, they're going to Africa because the US Supreme Court recently washed its hands of human rights atrocities committed by American citizens overseas. Basically telling them: "Yes, you can be an evil little hate monger, just do it over there."

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Gay Epidemic


Interesting opinion article by Jonathan Zimmerman: 

An African epidemic of homophobia: Customs and traditions banning gay love are relatively recent

On Thursday, my students and I visited a high school here in Ghana. When the headmistress told us that her students were "losing their culture" and "becoming too Western," we asked for an example. "Homosexuality," she said. "To us, it is an abomination. It comes from elsewhere."

That morning, coincidentally, President Obama was addressing the same issue at a news conference in Senegal. Asked about the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions in support of gay marriage, Obama acknowledged that Africans have "different customs" and "different traditions" about homosexuality. But he went on to insist that gays should have equal rights under the law, no matter where they live.

Bloggers and news commentators across Africa reacted angrily to Obama's remarks, insisting that homosexuality and gay rights are Western imports. But they're wrong. And if you think otherwise, I've got two words for you: Nelson Mandela...

A really well written piece, ending on the poignant point:

But nobody is "forcing" homosexuality on Africa, where it has existed for much longer than many Africans want to admit. Customs and traditions banning gay love are more recent. And as Mandela understood, they can be changed. Let's hope that other Africans find the courage to follow his example.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

School Bully

Back in April, a group of eight-year-old girls were suspended from school, accused of being lesbians.

As we suspected back then, lesbian appears to be the new 'witch', a word that can be thrown at anyone you don't like, in the knowledge that they will be strung up and punished.

This message appeared earlier today from a leading LGBTI rights campaigner:

Dear Comrades,

The AHB may seem silent but the war is not over and a lot of anti gay campaigns are going on under ground. Latest scenario was yesterday.

As I post this Ntinda View School issued an indefinite suspension to a student on grounds of suspicion of being a lesbian. Between the 20-25th of June Family life Network and a representative from the Gender Ministry visited this school and had talks with the students. A lot was shared and one thing [being said] is that foreign students have money and are the ones promoting Homosexuality, they also used the same platform to urge the school and students to report any suspect and encouraged the school to just chase them away.

I have forward this case to our allies and partners working on legal issues and we will keep you posted.

So, not only is being gay a crime, but even if you're not gay you are. It's a no win situation designed to terrify children into submission. There was probably an extra curricular session on how to rape girls.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Al Jazeera Debate

Uganda's anti-gay bill has been deemed out of time for the current sittings of parliament
Image from this article

A well put together discussion aired in South Africa on Al Jazeera recently regarding Uganda and the Amnesty Report - unfortunately we can't embed it, so you need to follow this link to view:

Meanwhile, decrepit coffin dodger Robert Mugabe reckons that gay and lesbian people who don't conceive children should be thrown in jail. Because that's just the sort of president he is. Sadly.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Happy Anniversary FARUG

Image from Meaningful Mama

Huge congratulations go out to SMUG coalition member Freedom and Roam Uganda today on their tenth anniversary of fighting prejudice and homophobia.

Read all about what they do on their blog: Freedom and Roam Uganda Marks Ten Years in Existence.

Spectrum Uganda Attacked

Image from Jewel of Uganda

Spectrum Uganda (@spectrumuganda) is one of the coalition LGBTI rights organisations that make up SMUG. They offer free medical services and home visits.

On Monday and Tuesday the following messages appeared online:

Spectrum uganda's future at mukwano mall seems to be on a beam balance from what has occured with the threats from angry traders and wakiseka goons. Our clients try to abide by the conditions at hand since all is not safe anymore.

No longer peaceful anymore. Tensions as wakiseka goons and traders around mukwano mall wage a big war against spectrum office and its staff.

On the Tuesday, Spectrum issued an urgent request for office relocation:

Spectrum Uganda initiatives Inc is under serious threats from traders and hooligans around Kiseka Market. 

During traders' strike on 28th June 2013 angry traders turned their wrath on Spectrum offices and staff accusing us of promoting homosexuality and promised to come back soon and attack our office and staff , that they are aware of our activities. 

A group of around six energetic young men today, the 1st of July 2013, has again raised their anger and shouted at our offices that they cannot share premises with homosexuals. They continued to shout at Spectrum staff that if police have failed to act by closing our offices they will act themselves. 

The neighboring tenants have also constantly questioned our activities and clients after media outing of the organization in the Red Pepper dated 24th February 2013 titled "BUSTED - HOW GAYS OPERATE IN UGANDA" where Spectrum was alleged as a recruiting agency for homosexuals in Uganda and some staff of Spectrum were outted. This alerted the tenants and the landlord. 

Following an urgent meeting held today of Spectrum Uganda executive, we have decided to immediately find means of relocating to a safer place and evoke on our security plan. 

Spectrum Uganda Initiatives Incorporated is located on Mukwano mall which is in the City Centre very close to the infamous Kisekka Market where strikes and demonstrations originate from. 

Spectrum Uganda Initiatives Inc requests for your assistance to relocate to a safer place and protection of its staff to continue serving the Community.

Today they posted to say that they are still operating, but that they cannot access their offices as they are not safe.

If you can offer space, or assistance, please contact: 

Moses Kimbugwe

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Bobi Wine

Ban Ugandan Artist Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) from EU and US 

He may look like a cool dude, but internationally renowned Ugandan singer Robert Kyagulanyi (AKA Bobi Wine) has been spreading the word of hate and homophobia this week.

There's currently a petition to European countries, asking them to deny him entry visas on the following grounds:

As Ugandan LGBT community around the world, we condemn the actions of a famous Ugandan artist ROBERT SSENTAMU KYAGULANYI aka BOBI WINE, for promoting and instigating homophobia through his music, tweets and facebook posts. A post... "So Obama comes to Africa with his wife and kids to promote homosexuality? .... Oh what a shame. Obama you can be a fagot and a hypocrite, but pliz keep off our children, our morality and our culture" has lead to increased homophobic violence in Uganda.

Still, what do you expect from a guy who has a history of being a thug

Singer Moses Ssali aka Bebe Cool spent hours in hospital on Sunday night after he was beaten up by fellow artiste Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine on the same night.

About as welcome as Scott Lively.