|Anglican Hero, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate|
¨As public hearings on MP David Bahati's Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 continue next week in Uganda's Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Committee, there are three significant messages that have emerged over the past year specifically related to this bill. These are not hard messages about risks to foreign aid, but the soft messages of education and information about the right of every lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) African to flourish:
Hate for LGBTI people has no place in the house of God
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God's family. And of course they are part of the African family. But a wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent. People are again being denied their fundamental rights and freedoms. Men have been falsely charged and imprisoned in Senegal, and health services for these men and their community have suffered. In Malawi, men have been jailed and humiliated for expressing their partnerships with other men. Just this month, mobs in Mtwapa Township, Kenya, attacked men they suspected of being gay. Kenyan religious leaders, I am ashamed to say, threatened an HIV clinic there for providing counseling services to all members of that community, because the clerics wanted gay men excluded.
Uganda's parliament is debating legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment, and more discriminatory legislation has been debated in Rwanda and Burundi.
These are terrible backward steps for human rights in Africa.
Our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters across Africa are living in fear...
Show me where Christ said "Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones." Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God...¨ read it all HERE
|United Nations High Commissioner Navi Pillay|
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay
Ultimately homophobia and transphobia are no different to sexism, misogyny, racism or xenophobia. But, whereas these last forms of prejudice are universally condemned by governments, homophobia and transphobia are too often overlooked. History shows us the terrible human price of discrimination and prejudice. No one is entitled to treat a group of people as less valuable, less deserving or less worthy of respect. Each and every one of us is entitled to the same rights, to the same respect and ethical treatment regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity...
Attitudes change. In this and in other areas, prejudice and bigotry are no match for information and education.
So, let us remind one another of what we are working for. Equal rights for everyone, whoever they are, whoever they love. It is a great human rights cause and one that I am proud to support...¨ please read it all, HERE
Hate for LGBTI people has no place in scientific understandings about sexual orientation
Psychological Society of South Africa
The scientific fields devoted to mental health and well-being, including psychiatry, psychology and sociology, do not consider homosexual orientation to be a disorder, but rather view it as a naturally occurring variation of normal human sexuality. Research and clinical practice indicates that homosexual people have an overall potential to contribute to society similar to that of heterosexual people and that they pose no greater risk to children than do heterosexual people.
While the proposed bill cites "…the need to protect the children and youths of Uganda…" as justification, there is no credible, reliable evidence that the measures contained in the bill will achieve that outcome. Research and clinical practice instead indicates that the abuse of human rights and fundamental freedoms embodied in the bill, and the state sponsored discrimination and affronts to basic human dignity it mandates, would instead result in profound physical and psychological harms to the already vulnerable lesbian, gay and bisexual youth in the very population the legislation claims to protect.
On the grounds outlined in this statement, the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) therefore joins the international community in strongly opposing the proposed anti-homosexuality legislation. The PsySSA joins in the call for Ugandan leaders to abandon or defeat the bill, and instead to join the trend in the international community of decriminalising homosexuality. HERE
|Nigerian Wole Soyinka, winner of The Nobel Prize in Literature|
¨We wish to state emphatically that homosexuality is neither a sin nor a social or cultural construct. It is a biological given. Homosexuals are human beings like everybody else. Scientific research has been helpful in clearing the fog of ignorance entrenched by some religious texts in regards to homosexuality. Our opinions of homosexuality must change for the better just as our opinion of slavery has changed even though it was endorsed by those same religious texts. All violence against gays and people deemed to be gay in Africa must cease forthwith...
We also call on African governments to learn from the South African example by expunging from their laws all provisions that criminalize homosexuality or treat homosexuals as unworthy of the same rights and entitlements as other citizens. African states must protect the rights of their citizens to freedom and dignity. Homosexuals must not be denied these rights.¨ HERE
· Thanks to African Activist, sidebar
· Thanks to Archbishop Desmond Tutu
· Thanks to Wole Soyinka
· Thanks to Navi Pillay