Honors for African LGBTI heroes at London Pride

Out and Proud Diamond Group honored African LGBTI heroes during London Pride. (Photo courtesy of Out and Proud Diamond Group)

Out and Proud Diamond Group honors African LGBTI heroes during London Pride. (Photo courtesy of Out and Proud Diamond Group)

Press release, modestly edited:

London Pride 2015

The African LGBTI organisation Out and Proud Diamond Group celebrated African LGBTI Heroes during London Pride 2015.

The group honored people who have stood up against anti-gay environments and regimes in Africa. Some of these heroes lost their lives during the struggle to liberate us and others against the injustices, discrimination, persecution, inequalities among others. Many of these heroes are still carrying on with the struggle for liberation amidst direct threats to their lives.

Tony Kitara, a Ugandan LGBTI activist with  Out and Proud Diamond Group, said, ‘I feel privileged and humbled to honour my heroes. These people started the journey for liberation. It is our duty to finish it. They don’t get much appreciation and recognition like other heroes in Africa, but London has given us this opportunity to honour them.”

Out and Proud Diamond Group honors African LGBTI heroes David Kato and John (Long Jones) Wambere during London Pride. (Photo courtesy of Out and Proud Diamond Group)

Out and Proud Diamond Group honors African LGBTI heroes David Kato and John (Long Jones) Wambere during London Pride. (Photo courtesy of Out and Proud Diamond Group)

Christine Amenya, a member of Out and Proud Diamond, said, “We are calling upon our governments in Africa to give us liberation such that we can honour these heroes on our continent as well. These people deserve more than we can do for their sacrifices for freedom of all African LGBTI people.”

The group’s director, Edwin Sesange, said, “We hope our message of honouring these heroes will be registered in people’s hearts and shed more light on the ongoing persecution of LGBTI people in Africa.

“We are calling upon all other Prides to continue remembering those who have stood up before us in order to pave the way for us. ”

Among those celebrated were:

David Kato Kisule (1964 – 26 January 2011) was a Ugandan teacher and LGBT rights activist, considered a father of Uganda’s gay rights movement and described as “Uganda’s first openly gay man.” He served as advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).

Eric Lembembe was murdered in Cameroon in 2013 for his work toward liberating LGBTI Africans. Lembembe was among the most prominent activists in one of Africa’s most hostile countries for sexual minorities. First as a journalist and later as executive director of CAMFAIDS, a Yaounde-based human rights organization, he documented violence, blackmail and arrests targeting members of Cameroon’s gay community. He was also a regular contributor to the Erasing 76 Crimes blog, which focuses on countries where homosexuality is illegal, and he wrote several chapters of a book released in 2013 on the global gay rights movement titled “From Wrongs to Gay Rights.”

Kasha Nabagesera and  Pepe Julian Onziema are prominent Ugandan LGBTI activists.

Alice Nkom , co-fondateur de l'Association pour défendre les homosexuels ( ADEFHO ) au Cameroun (Photo gracieuseté de ChangingAttitude.org.uk ) Avocat camerounais Alice Nkom a été menacé de violence en raison de sa défense juridique des clients LGBT.

Alice Nkom, co-founder of the Association to Defend Homosexuals (ADEFHO) in Cameroon (Photo courtesy of ChangingAttitude.org.uk)

Alice Nkom is a Cameroonian lawyer well known for her advocacy of decriminalization of homosexuality in Cameroon. She studied law in Toulouse and has been a lawyer in Douala since 1969. At the age of 24, she was the first black woman called to the bar in Cameroon.

Dr. Frank Mugisha is a Ugandan LGBT advocate who has won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize for his activism.

Denis Nzioka is a sexual and gender minorities activist, consultant, researcher and journalist. His focus is on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer (LGBTIQ) communities as well as sex workers in Kenya and Africa.

Paul Kasonkomona

Paul Kasonkomona

A Zambian court has acquitted a human rights activist on charges of promoting homosexuality, in a ruling hailed as a boost for gay rights in Africa. Paul Kasonkomona was charged with “soliciting for immoral purposes” after arguing for gay rights on a TV show in April 2013.

Rashidi Williams, Nigerian LGBTI activists, spoke to BBC News about his experience of being an openly gay man in Nigeria.

John Abdallah Wambere, popularly known as Long Jones, is a Ugandan LGBTI activist.

Val Kalende is one of the founding members of Sexual Minorities Uganda.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) is well known for introducing a legislation allowing same-sex marriage in South Africa and spoke out against hatred towards LGBTI people.

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda, whose acceptance of LGBT people led to his ouster from the Church of Uganda.

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, an outspoken Anglican bishop in Uganda, is well known for his support towards LGBTI people in Uganda and Africa at large.

Aba Taylor’s work helping LGBT Ghanians was highlighted in a 2012 documentary she directed, “Coming to America.”

Simon Nkoli was one of the first prominent black gay rights activists in South Africa. He also served as a leader of the anti-apartheid movement.

Jabulani Chen Pereira uses visual media in activism through their organization, Iranti-Org. Pereira identifies as gender queer, using the gender pronoun “they” rather than “he” or “she.”

Every scar on Mary Muthui’s head and body tell a story of the harsh persecution that gay Kenyans face every day. Mary is an LGBT activist in the east African country, and one of very few lesbians to come out in the media. Her work has made her a constant presence in the press – a positive for the movement, but something for which she, her girlfriend and her 12-year-old son have suffered dearly.

Joël Gustave Nana Ngongang (born 1982), frequently known as Joel Nana, is a leading African LGBT human rights advocate and HIV/AIDS activist. Nana’s career as a human rights advocate has spanned numerous African countries, including Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, in addition to his native Cameroon.

FannyAnn_Eddy (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Fannyann Eddy (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Fannyann Viola Eddy (1974–2004) was an activist for lesbian and gay rights in her native Sierra Leone and throughout Africa. In 2002, she founded the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, the first of its kind in Sierra Leone. She travelled widely, addressing the United Nations and other international groups. In April 2004, she advocated the passing of the Brazilian Resolution at the UN in Geneva.

Eddy was murdered on September 29, 2004, when a group of at least three men broke into the office of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association in central Freetown, gang-raped her, stabbed her, and eventually broke her neck.

Edwin Cameron (born 15 February 1953 in Pretoria) is a judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He is well known for his HIV/AIDS and gay-rights activism and was hailed by Nelson Mandela as “one of South Africa’s new heroes.”

Leading Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina has come out to say he is gay, making him one of the most high-profile Africans to do so.

The Rev. Canon Kapya Kaoma, an Episcopal priest from Zambia and a project director at Political Research Associates in Massachusetts, discusses the politics of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law.

Posted in Africa, Africa (Sub Saharan), Europe, International pressure for LGBT rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Church turmoil: U.S. supports, Nigeria hates same-sex vows

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury. (Photo courtesy of The Guardian)

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. (Photo courtesy of The Guardian)

The anti-gay Church of Nigeria has distanced itself from a Nigerian archbishop because he opposes a Nigerian law that provides a 14-year prison sentence for anyone entering into a same-sex marriage.

In response, Nigerian activist Davis Mac-Iyalla called on the head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Justin Welby, to protest the Nigerian church’s support for the repressive law.

Instead, Welby today had cautioned the U.S.-based Episcopal Church against widening its definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

The church currently allows same-sex weddings on a trial basis.  The church’s House of Bishops yesterday passed a resolution to remove references to marriage as between a man and a woman.  Days after the U.S. Supreme Court approved same-sex marriages nationwide, the bishops are currently meeting in Salt Lake City as half of the church’s bicameral legislature, along with House of Deputies, which consists of priests and lay people.

Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon (center) with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (left) and Bishop James Tengatenga, chair of the Anglican Consultative Council. (Photo courtesy of ACNS via Episcopal News Service)

Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon (center) with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (left) and Bishop James Tengatenga, chair of the Anglican Consultative Council. (Photo courtesy of ACNS via Episcopal News Service)

The Episcopal Church is one of the more progressive churches in the Anglican Communion, a loose affiliation that includes the conservative Church of Nigeria and Church of Uganda, along with the original Church of England, and other progressive churches such as those in Canada and New Zealand.

Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon of the Anglican Diocese of Kaduna, Nigeria,  in April took a high-ranking position in the Anglican Communion.

At the time, he stated:

“I have never supported the law in Nigeria that criminalizes the gay community and I will never support it. The church is called to love and protect everyone without discrimination, ‘love the person but hate the sin’ whatever the sin may be, corruption, sexual sins of all kinds, misuse of power or anything else.”

The law prohibits same-sex marriages, denies the right of association and advocacy to gay Nigerians, and provides for 10 years in prison for “public show of same-sex amorous relationship.”

In response to the appointment of Idowu-Fearon, the Church of Nigeria stated:

“[The statement] clearly indicates that he is not in accord with the theological and doctrinal posture of the Church of Nigeria. His acceptance of the post of ACC General Secretary neither received the approval of the Church of Nigeria, nor does it in any way affect the Church of Nigeria’s theological posture on the issues of homosexuality and gay movement. Thus, the Most Rev’d Josiah Idowu-Fearon represents himself at the ACC, and not the Church of Nigeria.”

Mac-Iyalla wrote to Welby today:

Davis Mac-Iyalla (Photo courtesy of LGBT Asylum News)

Davis Mac-Iyalla (Photo courtesy of LGBT Asylum News)

“Time has come for the Archbishop of Canterbury to start expressing deep concerns over the Church of Nigeria support for persecutions and violence of LGBT people. How can Canterbury continue to comfortably befriend Nigeria after their public show of supporting anti gay laws?

“Same-sex marriage in the church and society of all America is the hope for Nigeria LGBT’s. We thank the Bishops of the Episcopal Church for their bold steps in opening the definition of marriage to accommodate all the faithful.”

Welby posted this statement on his website today:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury today expressed deep concern about the stress for the Anglican Communion following the US Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops’ resolution to change the definition of marriage in the canons so that any reference to marriage as between a man and a woman is removed.

“While recognising the prerogative of The Episcopal Church to address issues appropriate to its own context, Archbishop Justin Welby said that its decision will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith relationships.

“At a time of such suffering around the world, he stated that this was a moment for the church to be looking outwards. We continue to mourn with all those who are grieving loved ones and caring for the injured from the terrorist attacks in Sousse, Kuwait and Lyons, and from the racist attacks in Charleston.

“He urges prayer for the life of the Anglican Communion; for a space for the strengthening of the interdependent relationships between provinces, so that in the face of diversity and disagreement, Anglicans may be a force for peace and seek to respond to the Lord Jesus’ prayer that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (John 17: 21).”

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Nigeria survey: Progress on LGB issues, a long way to go

Survey conducted in April and May 2015 found that younger Nigerians are more accepting of LGB people. (Chart courtesy of Bisi Alimi Foundation and TIERS)

Survey conducted in April and May 2015 found that younger Nigerians are more accepting of LGB people. (Chart courtesy of Bisi Alimi Foundation and TIERS)

A recent telephone survey of 1,000 Nigerians found that young adults are more knowing and accepting of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people, but that a large majority of Nigerians remains hostile to LGB people, their rights and their relationships.

The survey was conducted in response to Nigeria’s “Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Law” of 2014. The law outlaws same-sex marriages, denies the right of association and advocacy to gay Nigerians, and provides for 10 years in prison for “public show of same-sex amorous relationship.”  Because the law does not mention transgender people, the survey did not include questions about them and the headline of this article does not use the abbreviation “LGBT.”

Among the survey’s findings:

  • A large majority of adult Nigerians (87 percent) expressed support for the “Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Law.”  That is down from 96 percent in 2010 and 92 percent in 2013.
  • Only 17 percent of adult Nigerians know of someone who is lesbian, gay, or bisexual, but 30 percent of those age 18 to 25 say they are acquainted with an LGB person or know of an LGB celebrity.
  • A large majority of Nigerians (90 percent) believe that people are not born LGB.
  • Survey conducted in April and May 2015 found little recognition that LGB Nigerians deserve equal treatment under the law. (Chart courtesy of Bisi Alimi Foundation and TIERS)

    Survey conducted in April and May 2015 found little recognition that LGB Nigerians deserve equal treatment under the law. (Chart courtesy of Bisi Alimi Foundation and TIERS)

    In the abstract, only 11 percent of Nigerians said they were willing to accept a family member who was lesbian, gay, or bisexual. But among those who said they were acquainted with an LGB person or knew of an LGB celebrity, that figure was higher — as much as 30 percent.

  • A similar percentage (30 percent) of Nigerians said that LGB people should have access to healthcare, housing, and education.

The survey was conducted in April and May, with NOI Polls contacting a randomly selected population of 1,000 telephone-owning Nigerians age 18 and up in six geo-political zones. The margin of error for the survey results was +/-3 percent. Interviews were conducted in the interviewee’s choice of languages: English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba.

The survey was prepared for the Bisi Alimi Foundation and The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs), Nigeria-based organization fighting AIDS and working for LGBTI rights, with support from the LGBTI media advocacy organization GLAAD.

These are excerpts from the press release announcing the results of the survey:

Study: Acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people slowly increasing in Nigeria

New poll finds familiarity helps build understanding and acceptance of LGBT people

LAGOS – A new poll conducted by NOI Polls in partnership with Bisi Alimi Foundation and The Initiative for Equal Rights in Nigeria, has mapped awareness, perception, and acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual, people and same-sex relationships among the Nigerian population. While considerable opposition remains for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and their relationships, the poll found that acceptance has grown over previous polls. The findings also suggest that many Nigerians are unwilling to reject lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in their families. …

“It is good to see that 30% of Nigerians think that access to healthcare, housing and education is a right that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people should have,” said Bibi Bakare-Yusef, Publisher at Cassava Republic Press. “That’s a significant number that already recognizes the inalienable rights of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people to social protections. We must continue to push for social acceptance and legislative justice for all, including sexual minorities.”

Bisi Alimi (Photo courtesy of The Daily Beast)

Bisi Alimi (Photo courtesy of The Daily Beast)

“This poll tells us that Nigerians are not inherently homophobic, but that in the absence of accurate information around gender and sexuality, people are left to believe myths and misinformation,” said Bisi Alimi, founder of the Bisi Alimi Foundation. “The trend in this survey has shown that with a conducive environment to provide unrestrictive and unbiased information about gender and sexuality in Nigeria, we will be able to create a platform for discussion and dialogue where views can be shared and opinions expressed without fear.”

“This survey reflects a massive gap in knowledge about sexuality and human rights,” said Olumide Makanjuola, Executive Director of The Initiative for Equal Rights. “This lack of knowledge explains why LGBT people continue to experiences human rights violations. We therefore need to provide holistic education and information on sexuality and human rights. This must be a joint effort between the Nigerian government and the civil society organizations in Nigeria.”

Nigeria passed the “Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act” late 2013 which was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan on January 7th, 2014. The law, which condemns same-sex couples who marry to 14 years imprisonment, was widely supported by members of the general public in Nigeria. Opponents of the law have complained that the law allows members of law enforcement agencies to trample on the human rights of alleged culprits before found guilty. …

About the Bisi Alimi Foundation: The Bisi Alimi Foundation is a non for profit organization to provide unbiased information, education, training and development projects with a focus on sexuality and gender in Nigeria. The aim of the foundation is to build a wealth of knowledge through education, training and community engagement as a means of reducing homophobia in Nigeria.

TIERS logo

TIERS logo

About The Initiative for Equal Rights: The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) is a Nigeria-based registered non-profit organization that works to protect and promote the human rights of sexual minorities nationally and regionally. It was founded in 2005 as a response to the discrimination and marginalization of sexual minorities observed in HIV prevention and human rights work.

About GLAAD: As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural acceptance. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. GLAAD’s Global Voices program partners with international LGBT advocates to advance acceptance for LGBT people globally. For more information, please visit http://www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, see a brief overview of the report, “A Closer Look at Nigeria: Attitudes on lesbian, gay and bisexual people” (pdf) or the full report, “Perception of Nigerians on LGB Rights Poll Report” (also pdf).

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LGBTI news 3: Jamaica, Russia, Ukraine

News briefs about countries with anti-gay laws or considering anti-gay legislation, excerpted with slight modifications from UNAIDS’s Equal Eyes recap of the world’s LGBTI-related news. (This is the third of three posts. The first one reported news from Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Brunei. The second one reported news from Iran, Morocco, ISIS, Kenya, Gambia and Uganda.)

 

AMERICAS

In the UK, bisexual asylum seeker Orashia Edwards of Jamaica had his deportation flight cancelled, though the reprieve is temporary.

EUROPE

Police seize activist Nikolai Alexeyev during a rally in  Moscow. (Photo courtesy of Reuters)

Police seize activist Nikolai Alexeyev during a rally in Moscow. (Photo courtesy of Reuters)

During Russia‘s 10th Moscow Pride police detained Pride participants, including the parade organizer, while around 30 anti-LGBT demonstrators hurled eggs at the activists.

Journalists said that police officers detained the activists for attempting to stage an unauthorised gay pride rally and loaded them into waiting vans as around 30 nationalist counter-demonstrators in camouflage clothing and football fans hurled eggs at the activists and attacked them.

Several religious counter-demonstrators were also detained by police .
“Arrested and beaten at 10th Moscow Pride. We are arrested! They probably broke my left hand finger,” leading gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of himself in detention. Alexeyev, a prominent LGBT activist and lawyer and main organizer of the gay pride parade, was sentenced to 10 days in jail for “disobeying police orders.”

Also in Russia, the Orthodox Church cut ties with France’s United Protestant Church, which allows the blessing of same-sex marriages, and the Church of Scotland, which allows ordaining clergy in same-sex civil unions. The Moscow Patriarchate noted that it had previously suspended ties with the U.S. Episcopal Church in 2003 after it consecrated an openly gay bishop, and with Sweden’s Lutheran Church after it sanctioned ceremonies for civil unions in 2005.

Zero Tolerance logo

Zero Tolerance logo

An anti-LGBT group in Ukraine called Zero Tolerance posted photos of LGBT activists, noting they “do not deserve to live.” Zero Tolerance is one of the groups affiliated with far-right Ukrainian nationalists that launched online campaigns threatening LGBT activists after an LGBT rights march was attacked.“For the first time I am afraid for my and my boyfriend’s lives,” LGBT activist Dmitry Pikakhchi said. “Considering the number of these posts, the number of participants [of the group] and the radicalism — I think that the danger is more than real.” Pikakhchi said he was especially worried about Zero Tolerance hosted on the Russian-owned social network VKontakte, which is the dominant social network in much of the former Soviet Union. The group, which has more than 2,800 followers, has posted a photo album of at least a dozen people the group’s moderators say are LGBT activists.“These degenerates do not deserve to live,” said one person who posted to page. Another wrote, “Homothugs will be destroyed.”

For more information, read the full edition of Equal Eyes.

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LGBTI news 2: Iran, Morocco, ISIS, Kenya, Gambia, Uganda

News briefs about countries with anti-gay laws or considering anti-gay legislation, excerpted with slight modifications from UNAIDS’s Equal Eyes recap of the world’s LGBTI-related news. (This is the second of three posts. The first one reported news from Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Brunei.  The third will report news from Jamaica, Russia and Ukraine.)

 

NORTH AFRICA / MIDDLE EAST

Tooji (Photo courtesy of Okiko Times)

Tooji (Photo courtesy of Okiko Times)

The Vatican Ambassador to Iran, Bishop Leo Boccardi, met with Shiitte Scholar Ayatollah Hosseini Boushehri seeking an interfaith response to gay marriage and a dialogue to address “problems of this sort.”

Iranian immigrant Tooji, Norway’s representative in Europe’s 60th Eurovision Song Contest, was banned from returning to Iran after speaking out on human rights abuses and LGBTI persecution.

Two French lesbian activists in Morocco were expelled from the country for kissing in a pro-gay protest and two men were arrested for violating “public modesty” by standing too close. Mohsine and Lahcen were touring and taking pictures near Hassan tower, the capital’s famous minaret, earlier in June when they were arrested by the police for supposedly standing too close to each other, activists said. Maroc Hebdo magazine asked on its cover: “Should we burn gays?”

In Iraq, ISIS continues to murder men accused of being gay, this time dropping three men from a roof and posting the pictures online.

AFRICA

Member of parliament Irungu Kang’ata (Photo by Samuel Kariuki courtesy of Denis Nzioka)

Member of parliament Irungu Kang’ata (Photo by Samuel Kariuki courtesy of Denis Nzioka)

In Kenya, Member of Parliament Irungu Kangata demanded the Judiciary explain donations from the UNDP and the Ford Foundation, organizations that “openly support gay rights.” He suggests the donations influenced the Court’s recent pro-gay ruling.

Kangata wants Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and Chief Registrar Anne Amadi to explain what Sh87 million (US $883,000) from the United Nations Development Program and a further Sh80 million (US $812,000) from the Ford Foundation was meant for.

The Sh167 million was allocated for “capacity building” for the Judicial Service Commission, with an extra Sh2 billion from the National Treasury set aside for the expansion of magistrates courts.

Kangata also challenged the Judiciary about a seminar organized by Ford Foundation and attended by a number of judges days before the High Court ruled that the Registrar of Societies should allow the registration of LGBT rights organizations.

“I want the Judiciary to come clean on this seminar and tell us the agenda… and who attended it. I am posing questions… so that (those of) us who are litigants in the appeal against the ruling can ask the said judges to disqualify themselves.”

***

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh (Photo courtesy of AFP and Senenews.com)

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh (Photo courtesy of Senenews.com)

The European Union was ‘astonished’ when EU representative Agnes Guillaud was expelled from Gambia without explanation, said a spokeswoman. Guillaud had 72 hours to leave the country. The EU has been critical of The Gambia’s human rights record, particularly regarding its laws penalising homosexuality. Last year the EU blocked nearly $15m in aid to Gambia.

President Yahya Jammeh has governed the small west African nation with a firm hand since he came to power in a coup 20 years ago. He has crushed dissent and faces mounting international criticism over issues ranging from human rights to his stated belief that he can cure Aids. The president has also implemented tough measures against Gambia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. He has called gay people “vermin” and has threatened to slit their throats.

The EU summoned the Gambian ambassador to seek an explanation for the expulsion, officials said.

***

Time-Kasha-JacquelineIn what’s being celebrated as a monumental moment of visibility for Uganda’s beleaguered LGBT community, one of the nation’s leading LGBT activists graces this week’s cover of Time magazine’s Europe edition. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, an out lesbian and co-founder and editor of Uganda’s first LGBT publication, Bombastic, tells The Advocate she hopes the cover will not only bring awareness to the plight of LGBT Ugandans, but help people around the world realize that LGBT people are their friends, neighbors, and family members.“Now many people will know about the struggles LGBT people go through in Africa and the world over. They will realize that the people they hate most are actually the people they love most when they get to read the article. They could be hating on their beloved family and friend without knowing they are LGBT,” Nabagesera said.

For more information, read the full edition of Equal Eyes.

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Help Ugandan filmmaker get to premiere

Press release:

Poster for "Outed"

Poster for “Outed”

qFLIX, a Philadelphia-based LGBT film festival, needs your help in bringing a Ugandan filmmaker across the Atlantic for the [U.S.] premiere of his movie, which documents the persecution of gays in his home country.

Kamoga Hassan’s debut feature, “Outed: The Painful Reality,” will screen 9:30 p.m. July 11 at University of the Arts’ Caplan Theater, 211 S. Broad St. The screening is part of the qFLIX Philadelphia Film Festival, July 7-12.

Festival organizers need $2,000 to underwrite travel expenses for Hassan.
In Uganda, hate crimes against LGBT people are daily occurrences.

“Outed,” based on a true story, recounts, “what happens when a young gay Ugandan man is publicly identified by photographs and name for his sexual orientation in one of the Ugandan tabloids,” according to a qFLIX statement.

“[I] hope this will generate some fresh intellectual debate about the general status of gay people in Uganda, particularly about the role of media in escalating their plight,” said Hassan.

For more information and to make a donation, contact qFLIX founder and producer Thom Cardwell at thomcard@aol.com.

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Seychelles: Same-sex wedding, but anti-gay law remains

Lindsay Skoll, British high commissioner in Seychelles, performed a same-sex wedding there on June 13 (Photo by Patrick Joubert courtesy of the Seychelles News Agency)

Lindsay Skoll, British high commissioner in Seychelles, performed a same-sex wedding there on June 13 (Photo by Patrick Joubert courtesy of the Seychelles News Agency)

A same-sex wedding was conducted in Seychelles on June 13, 2015, on British territory (the British high commissioner’s residence). Seychelles laws currently have no provision for marriage equality.

Seychelles does not prosecute anyone under the nation’s anti-sodomy law and has promised to repeal it. But so far that has not happened.

The island nation in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar, committed itself to repeal in a statement to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 2011.

The unenforced law provides for  prison sentences of up to 14 years for same-sex intimacy.

Posted in Africa, Africa (Sub Saharan), Anti-LGBT laws and legislation, Positive steps | Tagged , | 1 Comment