The battle against Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill has produced some positive results — and not just the failure of the bill to pass in this year’s parliamentary session, says the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle.
In an interview on New Zealand’s “Gay Talk Tonight” online talk show with host Andrew Whiteside, Ogle says that in some ways the struggle against the Ugandan bill was “very helpful.”
“Progressive faith leaders in Uganda are speaking out and saying, everyone should be welcome in churches, everyone should have access to services,” Ogle said. Uganda’s Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law has led a well-organized fight against the bill, he said.
The confrontations in Uganda have also made apparent the dimensions of powerful fundamentalist religious opponents of LGBT rights who work behind the scenes both in Uganda and in the other 75+ countries with laws against homosexual activity.
Ogle said Uganda has “blown smoke into a space; we can see a very ugly face that in these other 75 countries we really don’t see.”
Ogle is the founder of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation and leader of its Spirit of 76 Worldwide project, which gathered 26 activists at last summer’s International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.
Also in the interview, he discussed:
- The gay-straight Lungujja Community Health Caring Organisation in Uganda.
The meeting of Spirit of 76 activists last summer with World Bank officials studying how the bank could help fight discrimination against LGBT people in developing countries.
- Awards given by former President Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative to gay-friendly Bishop Christopher Senyonjo and LGBT activist Pepe Julius Onziema, both of Uganda.
- Nigeria, where anti-gay laws have passed both houses of the legislature.
- The passage of “anti-gay propaganda” laws in Russia. Under those laws, “Just us talking about gay stuff … that would be deemed illegal,” he said.
- Uganda’s anti-gay bill dead for now, but likely in 2013 (76crimes.com)
- World Bank may join fight against anti-LGBT bias (76crimes.com)
- Harsh new anti-gay moves in Nigeria, Uganda (76crimes.com)
- Bill Clinton honors LGBT-friendly bishop in Uganda (76crimes.com)