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How dozens of pilgrims seek changes in anti-LGBT laws

Malika Zouhali-Worral and Katherine Fairfax Wright accept award for "Call Me Kuchu" at Berlin International Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of Teddy Awards)
Malika Zouhali-Worral and Katherine Fairfax Wright accept award for “Call Me Kuchu” at Berlin International Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of Teddy Awards)

Many intersecting pilgrimages in support of LGBT rights are the focus of today’s “RGOD2” column by The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle,  titled “Saluting the quiet army of people who make things happen.”

Ogle, the founder and president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation in San Diego, writes:

My life rolls out in the next six weeks as a kind of nomadic pilgrimage from San Diego ending in Washington, D.C. for the World AIDS Conference.

It has taken eight months and an army of people to ensure 26 “authentic witnesses” from countries where it is illegal to be LGBT can tell their stories. It is almost impossible for LGBT people to access HIV prevention and health services in 76 countries. The archaic laws used to criminalize us are regulating a quiet genocide throughout the world, largely supported by religious organizations.

Others who are undertaking different types of pilgrimages in support of LGBT rights are also highlighted in the column, including:

  • Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda, who “arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday after travelling 24 hours from Kampala where it is very illegal to be gay. It’s not so easy at 80 years old to leave your wife and family and familiar surroundings to embark on a six-week journey.” But he is undertaking it to help raise money for his nine full-time employees who work for LGBT equality in Uganda.
  • “The two young filmmakers Malika Zouhali-Worral from Brighton, England, and Katy Wright, from L.A., [who] are BRILLIANT, and they care a lot about what is going on in Africa. This is undoubtedly the beginning of an amazing career for them where filmmaking can also be about change-making in the world. I love these very creative people who look through a lens and capture both what is particularly awesome about some human beings and equally horrifying. They are part of the army of quiet people who are changing the world.” Their new film, “Call Me Kuchu,” about Ugandan gay activist David Kato, will premiere at the L.A. Film Festival on Sunday.

For more about them and the “an army of ‘salt of the earth’ volunteers who open up their hearts and homes” in support of LGBT rights read the full column.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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