Monday, July 2, 2012

Situation for LGBTI Folks in Uganda Grows Graver, Nobel Peace-Prize Winners Respond

The situation for LGBTI people in Uganda grew more grave lately, as the Anglican archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali joined other Christian leaders in that country in asking the Ugandan parliament to pass the infamous anti-homosexuality legislation that has been under consideration in Uganda for some time now.  As this press release by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights also indicates, on Wednesday, the Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo, a former Catholic priest who still uses the title of "right reverend father," also  announced last week that he is banning 38 human rights organizations for "promoting homosexuality." The ban announcement came two days after Lokodo ordered a raid on an LGBTI rights workshop in Kampala.

In response to the situation of growing gravity in Uganda, four Nobel peace-prize winners--Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professor Jody Williams, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, and Professor Muhammad Yunus--have taken the unprecedented step of issuing a statement of solidarity with LGBTI people around the world, and an appeal to nations like Uganda to stop the oppression.  The statement is included in the press release to which the preceding paragraph links.  

As it maintains,

In many of our countries the influence of colonial era laws still makes outlaws of LGBTI people. Recent legislative efforts like those underway in Russia and Uganda could pose even more sinister sanctions on LGBTI people as well their allies, ourselves included. The criminalization of adult, consensual homosexuality in any form is unacceptable. And, we must remain vigilant even in countries that rightly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, to ensure that LGBTI citizens are effectively protected from the hatred and bigotry that persists.

I'm grateful to Fred Clark at Slacktivist for the link to this statement.

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