Gay rights? ‘Shut up’ says world parliamentary forum

A coalition of largely anti-gay nations has voted to block discussion of LGBT rights at a global forum of parliamentary governments.

Gay rights opponents from Uganda cheer the defeat of a proposal for the Inter-Parliamentary Union to discuss anti-gay discrimination and rights abuses.
Gay rights opponents from Uganda cheer the defeat of a proposal for the Inter-Parliamentary Union to discuss anti-gay discrimination and rights abuses.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union voted 689 to 499 against a proposal to discuss “The role of Parliaments in ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and ensuring respect for the human rights of LGBT persons.”

Logo of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
Logo of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

Those 689 members of national parliaments apparently were not thinking of the organization’s motto — “For democracy. For everyone.” — when they voted not to even talk about ensuring human rights for all.

Members of Uganda’s parliament were prominent in the opposition to the proposal, particularly Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.

Melanie Nation, executive director of the African Human Rights Coalition, commented:

It is a sad day when so many people who seek refuge from criminalization and persecution from their own countries receive further abuse at the hands of a global body such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union. This is a body which ought to place human rights and protections for these very people at the fore.
It is as if these criminalizing and persecutory nations are trying to contain and control the only protections available to persecuted LGBT people, which obviously involves global protections in the form of exile and migration. This may well lead to a split in the organization, as it becomes a reality for states which protect all people equally to realize that it is not possible to continue to function in a climate so contrary to basic human decency – to turn against the most marginalized of refugees and asylum seekers, who have a right to protections from other nations.

Mamba Online reported:

Outrage as international lawmakers vote to ban LGBT debates

It’s been reported that Uganda has joined a gang of anti-LGBT nations in banning any discussions on LGBT rights at the International Parliamentary Union (IPU). …
Video posted on the Facebook page of the Parliament of Uganda of the session in Geneva showed the jubilant Ugandan delegation clapping and cheering at the outcome. Kadaga said the decision was a victory against “uncivilised and unchristian behaviours” at the IPU.

Gay rights opponent Rebecca Kadaga, speaker of the Ugandan parliament
Gay rights opponent Rebecca Kadaga, speaker of the Ugandan parliament

“I am so happy that this battle has finally been won,” Kadaga was quoted as saying by Daily Monitor. “It started in St. Petersburg in Russia when they attempted to smuggle it in. Today, we have made a final vote that will prohibit the issue of LGBT from appearing on the IPU agenda.”
In March, Kadaga threatened a walk-out when attempts were made to discuss LGBT rights at the 138th IPU Assembly.
Ugandan MP Francis Mwijukye Francis told The Observer: “We shall continue to fight the LGBT issues on the international level until people here appreciate that same-sex is inhuman and anti-culture.”
DA MP Michael Waters, who was part of the South African delegation at the IPU this week, said on Facebook that the vote “was a very sad day for human rights”. He commented that, “Parliaments are supposed to debate controversial issues and listen to other people’s points of view…”

Edwin Sesange, director of the London-based African Equality Foundation, objected to the vote, stating:

“The world cannot allow itself to be silenced by some members of parliaments who are driven by hatred, torture, discrimination and persecution of innocent LGBTI people.”

Source: Rights Africa

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. 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 at


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