Uganda, Africa


To reduce sectarian violence, Ugandan political parties were restricted in their activities from 1986-2005. In the non-party "Movement" system instituted by Yoweri Museveni, political parties continued to exist, but they could only operate a headquarter office. They could not open branches, hold rallies or field candidates directly (although electoral candidates could belong to political parties). A constitutional referendum canceled this nineteen-year ban on multi-party politics in July 2005. Presidential elections were held in February 2006. Yoweri Museveni won against several candidates. As usual the result were challenged but the country is relatively stable except for rebel activity in the northeast. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and gay activists are regularly harassed and taken into custody then released. It is the first country in the world to have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (since 2004).

 

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LGBTI refugees and Western saviors: Ugandans facing violence in Kenya, and how you can (and can’t) help

| July 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »

My friend Victor Mukasa, a distinguished Ugandan human rights activist, helped to found Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) many years ago. Now he’s leading a Kuchu Diaspora Alliance for Ugandan LGBTI people abroad; yesterday the group posted its first videos on YouTube. They describe violence beleaguering Ugandan queers who fled the country and now subsist in a refugee camp in Kenya. They’re based on Victor’s phone interviews with the victims. In Kakuma camp, there are 58 known LGBT Ugandan refugees. 23 who came earlier — before the Anti-Homosexual Bill was passed — have moved into the camp’s more permanent sections, which have small, dirt-floor huts. 35 more recent arrivals are in the camp’s “reception” area, where housing consists of tents. Other residents have steadily harassed the Ugandans. On Friday afternoon (June 27) a group ganged up on a Ugandan in the reception area and beat him badly, saying “This camp

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Activists: Hundreds of LGBT Refugees Have Fled Uganda

| June 27th, 2014 | No Comments »

A Kenyan activist, Ugandan asylum-seeker, and the American Jewish World Service hope to raise awareness about east Africa’s beleaguered LGBT community, even as hundreds reportedly flee Uganda. Hundreds of LGBT refugees — whose existence has been criminalized under Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act — have fled Uganda for neighboring Kenya after facing threats and being blackmailed, kidnapped, arrested, evicted and assaulted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, says a Kenyan activist and LGBT community organizer. “Ken,” who is currently touring the U.S. to raise awareness about the plight of LGBT people in east Africa with the help of American Jewish World Service, is traveling under a psuedonym for his own safety, the safety of the LGBT social services organization he runs in Kenya, and for the safety and security of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex members. According to organizers of Ken’s U.S. speaking engagements and media interviews,

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High Alert: Homophobia in Uganda peaks

| June 26th, 2014 | No Comments »

In the wake of anti-gay legislation and escalating violence, activists show unimaginable courage You don’t forget the first time you watch a person beaten to death on camera. The cacophony of cracking bone, the wriggling body in its death throes and the enthusiastic camaraderie of the mob I’m watching aren’t part of a Faces Of Death resurgence. These are real people swarming Ssekasi John, a queer Ugandan businessman, just days after the African state’s controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) became law in December 2013. Evidence of Uganda’s homophobic violence has proliferated online, where you can see bodies charred, brutalized and bloodied in real time. Ugandan queer rights activist Richard Lusimbo works for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), an LGBTQ rights organization that conducts surveys to document human rights violations empirically. After being outed twice by newspapers, he says he’s received death threats and fears doing even the most mundane tasks like shopping

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Ugandan Court Rules Government Can Stop LGBT Groups

| June 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »

“This is like a second or third nail into our coffin.” A Ugandan court essentially sanctioned a crackdown on LGBTI rights organizations in a ruling issued Monday morning, worrying activists that government officials will be further empowered to pursue a witch hunt among civil society organizations under the guise of combating homosexuality. Although LGBTI activists plan to appeal the ruling, High Court Judge Steven Musota dismissed the case they brought against Ugandan Minister of Ethics Simon Lokodo. The case alleged that Lokodo had violated their rights when he shut down a training workshop for LGBTI activists organized in 2012 by a Ugandan organization Freedom and Roam Uganda in partnership with the Swedish organization RFSL. A written version of the ruling is not yet available, but according to two of the plaintiffs in the case, Musota held that Lokodo did not violate their basic rights because the event was promoting homosexuality,

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Report: Anti-Gay Abuse Surges in Uganda After Bill Passage

| May 18th, 2014 | Comments Off

Nairobi — Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say homosexuals in Uganda have faced increased discrimination since the passage of an anti-gay bill last December. In Uganda, members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, known by the acronym LGBT, say life has not been the same since the passage and signing of the Anti-Homosexual Act, which allows life sentences for those convicted of consensual homosexual acts. “The atmosphere in Uganda has really changed, especially in the LGBT community in Uganda, the situation is really tense, a lot of people are facing a lot of problems like attacks,” explained Jay, a transgender man, who asked we only use his first name for his own protection. “Some of the LGBT people are committing suicide.” Born a woman, Jay lives his life as a man, binding his chest to obscure his breasts. Shortly after the law was signed, he went to

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US HIV/AIDS funding to Uganda to continue

| May 16th, 2014 | Comments Off

The United States has assured Uganda of continued funding for HIV/AIDS research and treatment despite the recent storm over the passing of the controversial anti-homosexuality Act. Dan Travis, the public affairs officer at the US embassy in Kampala, said Uganda has been allocated $323m (about sh805b) for this fiscal year 2014 under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). At least 60% is dedicated to treatment while 40% is earmarked to accelerate prevention projects like safe male medical circumcision and condom supply. This means HIV funding from US has remained the same as last year. Consequently, the 507,000 HIV positive Ugandans who get free anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs from PEPFAR-supported agencies have no cause to worry. “The key thing is not the money but the number of people who are supported so they can work, study and make a contribution to their families,” Travis observed. He was addressing health

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How One Reverend Is Defying Uganda’s ‘Kill The Gays’ Act

| May 5th, 2014 | Comments Off

Uganda made international headlines when President Yoweri Museveni signed Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Act into law, jailing people for 14 years to life for loving someone of the same sex and leading to massive spikes in hate crime violence. But one Reverend in the country is generating press for a different reason: hosting prayer sessions and counseling services even as he, too, faces prison for refusing to discriminate. Rev. Christopher Senyonjo had already been cut from Uganda’s Anglican Church for calling on religious leaders to embrace LGBT people instead of encouraging hate and violence. Now his activism threatens to put him behind bars, too — unless we draw the attention of the international community to his fight. Uganda has already lost millions in global aid because of its hate policies. If enough of us stand behind Rev. Senyonjo, we can keep him out of prison and help him stay an

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Uganda Drafts New Anti-Gay Law Targeting NGOs

| April 28th, 2014 | Comments Off

Kampala (Reuters) – Uganda has drafted a new law that would bar non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from promoting homosexuality, tightening rules further after anti-gay legislation in February was widely condemned as draconian. The draft, now being studied by the cabinet before being introduced in parliament, would also ban foreign NGOs from meddling in the east African country’s politics, junior internal affairs minister James Baba told Reuters on Monday. Critics say the legislation will further erode civil liberties and entrench a climate of oppression and political intolerance already evolving ahead of 2016 polls in which veteran leader, Yoweri Museveni, is expected to stand. The February law strengthened punishments for having gay sex and imposed jail terms of up to life for some categories of homosexuality, including sex with a minor or while HIV-positive. “There are some NGOs who have come here to undermine us, to promote very bad behavior like homosexuality,” junior

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Fear Drives African Gays to Seek Asylum in US

| April 8th, 2014 | Comments Off

Homosexuality is a crime in 38 African countries and new laws in Nigeria and Uganda have increased potential punishments for engaging in gay sex. These strictures have driven some gay and transgender Ugandans to seek asylum in the United States. “I can tell you that it’s so bad in Uganda. People just don’t know what is happening in Uganda,” said Niki Mawanda, who recently fled his African homeland. “I’m worried about what is happening to my people. But I’m also scared that when I go back, I don’t know what will happen to me.” Mawanda is one of more than 60 Ugandans who have applied for asylum in the U.S. so far this year. “They staged a big prayer next to my mom’s house praying for me to leave the village, saying that I’m bringing homosexuality on the village,” he said. “I don’t want to leave my people, but this

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Uganda police raid U.S. military AIDS clinic, order it shut

| April 3rd, 2014 | Comments Off

Activists in Uganda report that plain-clothes police raided a U.S. military-affiliated AIDS services clinic in Kampala today, accused it of promoting homosexuality, and ordered it to close. [A spokesperson for the clinic said the program decided to temporarily suspend operations to ensure the safety of its staff. -- Editor] The clinic has been one of relatively few health-care facilities in the city that willingly treat LGBT people. It is run by the Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP), a non-profit partnership between Makerere University and the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP). Dozens of HIV-positive people relied on that clinic for ARV treatments. The raid came three days after President Yoweri Museveni joined the throngs at a Parade and Thanksgiving Celebration over the country’s harsh new Anti-Homosexuality Act, which provides for seven years in prison for anyone who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality.”

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Church Abandons Ugandan Cleric Who Ministers To Gays

| March 31st, 2014 | Comments Off

The Anglican church has severed ties with a Ugandan cleric who ministers to gays. Rev. Christopher Senyonjo, 82, told the AP that he now lives off “gifts” to support himself after the Anglican church cut off his pension. Senyonjo’s sympathetic views toward gay people got him barred from presiding over church events in 2006. He said Anglican leaders in Uganda told him to “condemn the homosexuals.” “I can’t do that, because I was called to serve all people, including the marginalized. But they say I am inhibited until I recant. I am still a member of the Anglican church,” Senyonjo said. Senyonjo, who has 10 children, ministers to gay people from a small 1-room makeshift church. Earlier this year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed legislation which allows up to life imprisonment for the crime of “aggravated homosexuality.” Senyonjo said his pension was severed as “a kind of punishment” over his

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I am a gay Ugandan about to go home. This law will tyrannise my life

| March 20th, 2014 | Comments Off

A day after the anti-homosexuality act was passed, a tabloid listed me as a ‘homo’. This hatred is new to my country, and driven by US evangelicals Growing up in Uganda, homosexuality was not something we talked about much. I knew I was gay from a young age, and I came out to those close to me when I was a teenager in the early 90s. Some in my family accepted it, while others refused to acknowledge it. Homosexuality wasn’t always accepted but it was, largely, ignored. There were characters from my youth whom I remember as openly gay, such as a local barber – everybody in our close-knit neighbourhood knew them for who they were. There were snide comments and rude names – it was far from social equality – but I did not experience hatred. To be gay in Uganda back then was a fairly unremarkable thing. As

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John Kerry To Send Homosexuality ‘Experts’ To Tackle Uganda Anti-Gay Law

| March 18th, 2014 | Comments Off

Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Tuesday U.S. plans to send homosexuality “experts” to Uganda to discuss the country’s new Anti-Homosexuality Act with President Yoweri Museveni, according to Buzzfeed. “I talked personally to President Museveni just a few weeks ago, and he committed to meet with some of our experts so that we could engage him in a dialogue as to why what he did could not be based on any kind of science or fact, which is what he was alleging,” Kerry said during a University Town Hall meeting at the U.S. Department of State. “He welcomed that and said that he was happy to receive them and we can engage in that kind of conversation… maybe we can reach a point of reconsideration.” The Ugandan president signed the law, which includes up to lifetime imprisonment for homosexuality, in February after a team of Ugandan scientists informed him

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Uganda anti-gay law claims first victims with arrests

| March 16th, 2014 | Comments Off

According to reports, two men have been arrested under Uganda’s new anti-gay law after they were caught having sex in a hotel room The first arrests under Uganda’s new anti-gay law are thought to have been made this week after two men were heard having sex in a hotel room The first arrests are believed to have been made under Uganda’s new gay law which was passed by President Yoweri Museveni last month. According to reports, two men were arrested in the town of Jinja in south-east Uganda earlier this week after they were heard having sex in a hotel room. YNaija, a website which describes itself as ‘The Internet Newspaper for Young Nigerians’ ran an article on 10 March headlined ‘BUSTED: 2 gay men caught having SEX in a hotel room’. The article says a lodging attendant informed the police after hearing ‘sexual moans’ shortly after the men had

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UNAIDS Is “Prepared” To Join Lawsuit Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, Top Official Says

| March 12th, 2014 | Comments Off

“We need to change the way we are doing business,” said Luiz Loures, UNAIDS deputy executive director and assistant secretary general of the United Nations. Washington — Luiz Loures, deputy director of UNAIDS and assistant secretary general of the United Nations, said Wednesday that UNAIDS is ready to join a lawsuit filed in a Ugandan court on Tuesday challenging the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act. The agency has signed on to previous lawsuits challenging sodomy laws in Canada and one currently in Malawi’s courts, Loures told BuzzFeed following a panel at the World Bank on “The Economic Cost of Homophobia.” “We’ll be doing more,” he said. “And now there is a challenge in Uganda [that] we’re prepared to join as well.” Loures said new strategies had to be found to push back on measures that make HIV services harder to access for LGBT people. “We need to change the way we are

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Ugandan anti-gay strategy: The war has barely begun

| March 12th, 2014 | Comments Off

Supporters of Uganda’s harsh new Anti-Homosexuality Act are preparing their next steps, according to a strategy document from anti-gay Pastor Stephen Langa. Langa, executive director of Uganda’s Family Life Network, organized the seminar in 2009 at which American anti-gay activist Scott Lively energized Uganda’s anti-homosexuality movement shortly before the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced. Langa’s letter states that Uganda’s recent enactments of the Anti-Homosexuality Act and the Anti-Pornography Act, which bans mini-skirts, “only mark the beginning of a higher and fiercer level of warfare.” Langa claims that “Homosexuality is just the manifestation of [what] we are dealing with here. This is a conflict between the kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God, whereby the Devil wants to accomplish his agenda of John 10:10 to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ our children, marriages, families and ultimately nation.” The primary strategy that Langa proposes is prayer, although sometimes the prayer is a plea

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Gay law: Kazibwe warns Museveni

| March 12th, 2014 | Comments Off

In a statement on Monday, former Vice President, Specioza Wandira-Kazibwe belatedly criticized the signing into law of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and urged for its repeal. She said the law would have negative public health implications and serious consequences for Uganda’s international reputation and support from donors. Kazibwe, a special envoy of the UN Secretary General for HIV/Aids in Africa, said in a Monday statement that she had told President Museveni that the criminalization of homosexuality only serves to fuel stigma and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons and risks undermining the national Aids response, which is otherwise making significant progress. She wrote: “I am in full solidarity with the LGBT community and I will continue to defend their rights in Uganda and across Africa. Rest assured of my unwavering support and action for the realization of the rights for every human being, which has been my struggle

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Uganda threatens to cut ties with Church of England over gay rights

| March 3rd, 2014 | Comments Off

Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, has accused the Anglican Church of being ‘spiritually blind’ on the issue of homosexuality Uganda is threatening to break away from the Church of England over gay rights. Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, has said the head of the Anglican Church has become ‘spiritually blind’ on homosexuality. Addressing Christians at St Andrew’s Church in Bukoto, he said he had received a letter from Ugandan-born Archbishop of York John Sentamu. In the letter co-signed by Archbishop of Canterbury, they said the Church of England was ‘concerned’ about the African country’s homophobia. Homosexuals were loved and valued by God and deserved the ‘best pastoral care and friendship’, the two religious leaders said. In response, Ntagali said: ‘I have written back to Archbishop Sentamu. ‘I told him it does not matter even if we do not work with them because

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World Bank suspends $90 million loan to Uganda over anti-gay law as currency dips

| February 28th, 2014 | Comments Off

Uganda is seeing further financial consequences over the passing of its notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill that jails gays for life with the World Bank suspending a major development loan The World Bank has suspended a $90million (€65million) loan to Uganda over its passing of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act which gives life imprisonment for anyone convicted of gay sex. The loan was to go to go to Uganda’s health system but the World Bank has announced it will postpone the lone while it reviews whether Uganda’s development objectives could be negatively affected by the passing of the law. The World Bank still has $1.56 billion worth of projects in Uganda but World Bank president Jim Yong Kim has signaled the bank will take a harder line with countries that have discriminatory laws. Kim outlined his concerns in a column for the Washington Post, writing that ‘Institutionalized discrimination is bad for people and

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Pope will fly to Uganda to worship martyrs who rejected gay sex

| February 28th, 2014 | Comments Off

Catholic martyrs were canonized after an African king had them executed for not sleeping with him Pope Francis will be flying to Uganda in order to praise Uganda martyrs who rejected gay sex from the country’s former king. The head of the Catholic Church will visit Uganda in October, which has recently enacted one of the worst anti-gay laws in the world. Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has confirmed the Pope has accepted the invitation to attend the celebrations to mark 50 years since the canonisation of the Uganda Martyrs. The Vatican is yet to confirm the visit. The martyrs, who were killed between 1885 and 1887, refused to have sex with the gay King Mwanga II of Bugunda, now part of Uganda. In a report released by Sexual Minorities Uganda, it proved it was not true that homosexuality is ‘un-African’ and it existed long before British colonialized the country in

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UN Secretary-General demands revision or repeal of Uganda homosexuality law

| February 25th, 2014 | Comments Off

Kampala, Uganda - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is demanding the revision or repeal of Uganda’s law imposing life sentences for homosexuality and same-sex marriage. The U.N. chief warned Tuesday that the law could fuel prejudice and encourage harassment against gays, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said. Ban urged the Ugandan government to protect all people from violence and discrimination and offered U.N. support “for constructive dialogue,” he said. Uganda’s new-anti-gay law punishes gay sex with up to life in jail. The bill originally proposed the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” First-time offenders now face life in jail, instead the original 14-year jail term. The new law also creates the offences of “conspiracy to commit homosexuality” as well as “aiding and abetting homosexuality,” both of which are punishable with a seven-year jail term. Those convicted of “promoting homosexuality” face similar punishment. Homosexuality has long been criminalized in Uganda under a colonial-era law. On Tuesday

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Ugandan newspaper prints list of ’200 top’ gays

| February 25th, 2014 | Comments Off

Kampala, Uganda — A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country’s “200 top” gays, outing some Ugandans and raising fears of violence against those named just a day after the president enacted a severe anti-gay law. Many on the list “are scared and they need help,” said Pepe Julian Onziema, a prominent Ugandan gay activist who was named in in the Red Pepper tabloid. “Some want to leave the country and they are asking to be helped.” Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday’s signing of the bill by President Yoweri Museveni marked “a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights.” He warned that Washington could cut aid to the East African nation over the new law, which punishes gay sex with up to life in prison. “We are beginning an internal review of our

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Uganda’s anti-gay bill refocuses attention on US evangelical influence

| February 25th, 2014 | Comments Off

Uganda’s President Museveni signed into law Monday a bill that criminalizes homosexuality with life sentences and punishes efforts to raise or discuss gay issues. Nairobi, Kenya - A day after Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a punitive bill that criminalizes homosexuality with life sentences and punishes efforts to raise or discuss gay issues, the influence of American evangelicals on the law is being raised. Human rights groups in East Africa for many years have pointed fingers at US evangelicals, some of whom have visited African states and advocated against homosexual behavior and rights, something that is often not a difficult sell given traditional values and views across Africa. But the new law has raised the ire of gay rights groups who say religious lobbying from US groups proved effective – even as US President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry opposed the bill, saying it would “complicate” relations

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Uganda politicians celebrate passing of anti-gay laws

| February 24th, 2014 | Comments Off

President Museveni’s supporters revel in new anti-gay laws passed despite pressure from US, EU, western donors and rights groups Uganda’s president hassigned a controversial law allowing those convicted of homosexuality to be imprisoned for life, defying international disapproval from western donor nations. At a public ceremony in a packed room at the State House in Entebbe, Yoweri Museveni formally initialled the anti-homosexuality act, which also outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and requires citizens to denounce to the police anyone suspected of being gay. “No study has shown you can be homosexual by nature. That’s why I have agreed to sign the bill,” Museveni said in a speech at the presidential palace near the capital, Kampala. “Outsiders cannot dictate to us. This is our country. I advise friends from the west not to make this an issue, because if they make it an issue the more they will lose. If the

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Reaction to Uganda Antigay Law

| February 24th, 2014 | Comments Off

As my colleague Alan Cowell reported, the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, significantly strengthened Africa’s antigay movement, signing into law a bill imposing harsh sentences for homosexual acts, including life imprisonment in some cases. Rights groups and activists condemned the law, with some pointing to the promotion of antigay sentiment by Western Christian evangelical groups. In the face of a crackdown, gay rights activists expressed defiance. Frank Mugisha, a gay rights activist in Uganda, wrote on his Twitter account @frankmugisha: Some of the reaction to the news that the bill had been signed included a look back at the public remarks and work of an American evangelist, Scott Lively, who was the subject of a lawsuit filed in federal court in Massachusetts by a gay rights group in 2012. It accused Mr. Lively of violating international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda. Pamela Spees,

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Eight suicide attempts in Uganda in last two weeks over anti-gay law

| February 24th, 2014 | Comments Off

While some have remained resolute and will continue to fight against homophobia, others have fled the country and have attempted suicide Eight people have attempted suicide in the last two weeks over the anti-gay law, gay rights activists have told GSN. President Yoweri Museveni has signed the anti-gay bill into law today (24 February), one of the most draconic legislations in the world. Since the law was passed on 20 December, underground LGBT groups have reported that several have attempted suicide and others have left the country. And with an increase in mob violence, gay groups warn that because of a lack of education, the law will lead to gay people being ‘hunted down’. Pepe Julian Onziema, a LGBTI rights activist in Uganda, said people were feeling ‘really scared’ over the legislation. ‘There’s been many suicide attempts over the last two weeks, at least eight.’ he told Gay Star News.

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Uganda: Anti-Homosexuality Law Will Come at a Serious Cost

| February 19th, 2014 | Comments Off

US Should Temporarily Recall Ambassador for Consultations (Nairobi) – Uganda’s pending Anti-Homosexuality bill violates the country’s human rights obligations and is a barrier to advancing critical public health goals.Uganda’s international donor partners should clearly and publicly specify the consequences for relations with Uganda if the Anti-Homosexuality bill becomes law. Uganda’s parliament passed the bill on December 20, 2013, and President Yoweri Museveni has indicated that he intends to sign the bill. The bill would increase penalties for some forms of consensual same-sex conduct between adults, curtail constitutionally protected rights to privacy, family life, and equality, and violate the rights to freedom of association and expression. Museveni’s government, over his 28 years in office, has increasingly suppressed freedom of assembly, expression, and association and threatened civil society groups working on a range of issues, including corruption, land, oil, and good governance. This bill is the latest troubling sign of disregard for

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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh: Gays are ‘vermin’ and should be treated worse than mosquitoes

| February 18th, 2014 | Comments Off

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has referred to gay people as “vermin”, saying they should be dealt with in the same way as mosquitoes which “cause” malaria. President Jammeh made the comments on Tuesday. He has in the past referred to gays as a threat to humanity, saying a year ago that gay rights were a “great mistake” for Africa and that “human beings of the same sex cannot marry or date”. “We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively,” he said in a speech made to mark the country’s 49th anniversary of independence from Britain. Echoing similar sentiments made by a representative of the Ugandan Government also today, the Gambian president suggested the country would not accept aid from any country if the welfare of LGBT people is a condition. “We will therefore not accept any friendship,

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African Anglican bishops warn Church of England to back off on gay issue

| January 31st, 2014 | Comments Off

The leaders of the Anglican Church in Uganda and Kenya have warned the Church of England to back off on LGBTI issues after the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded them of their responsibility to support and care for gay people African bishops have reacted to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s letter reminding them of their duty to LGBTI people, with the bishops of Uganda and Kenya telling the Church of England to back off on having a conversation about whether same-sex relationships could be tolerated in the church. Ugandan Primate Bishop Stanley Ntagali accused the Church of England of hypocrisy over homosexuality and suggested that his church was prepared to break from the global Anglican Communion if pushed too far. ‘We sincerely hope the Archbishops and governing bodies of the Church of England will step back from the path they have set themselves on so the Church of Uganda will be

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President of Uganda refuses to sign ‘jail the gays’ bill into law

| January 17th, 2014 | Comments Off

Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has refused to sign a controversial new bill into law that could have seen gay men and women jailed for life. Mr Museveni says that there are better ways to “rescue” people from homosexuality. According to the Daily Monitor newspaper, the president wrote to MPs and said that if passed, gay people would go “underground and continue practicing homosexuality or lesbianism for mercenary reasons.” He added: “The question at the core of the debate on homosexuality is what do we do with an abnormal person? Do we kill him/her? Do we imprison him/her? Or we do contain him/her?” the president was quoted as writing in a letter to parliament. In the letter he suggests that men are gay to make money and women become lesbian because of “sexual starvation.” He added:

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Uganda’s Gay Porn Obsession: Why A Nation With Anti-Gay Laws Is Leading The Way

| January 15th, 2014 | Comments Off

Uganda might have vehemently anti-gay legislation in place, but that hasn’t stopped the nation from becoming one of the world’s top consumers of gay pornography, according to reports. HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin spoke with Roger Ross Williams, director of the award-winning documentary “God Loves Uganda,” to figure out why one of the world’s most homophobic nations is just behind Kenya and Pakistan, two other nations with anti-gay laws, when it comes to Internet searches on gay porn. “When you have a repressive society like that, people are repressed, so it goes underground,” Williams said. “They’re obsessed with sex.” As it turns out, however, not everyone who is searching for gay porn on the Internet in Uganda is necessarily gay. Williams added, “Culturally, you don’t talk about sex in Uganda … what this bill has done, it brought homosexuality in the public conversation. People are curious.” Source – Huffington PostPosted

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Ugandans top Google results for searches on ‘gay porn’

| January 11th, 2014 | Comments Off

African nations including Kenya and Ethiopia also rank highly for gay porn searches Uganda tops search report for ‘homosexuality’ A new report on the most popular search terms of 2013 has revealed Uganda to be a nation obsessed with homosexuality online. According to Google’s Zeitgeist report of 2013, which lists the most popular terms used on its search engine, Ugandans searched for ‘homosexuality’ more than any other people on Earth. The dangerously anti-gay nation also ranks third in searches for the terms ‘man fucking man’ and ‘woman fucking woman’ – trailing behind Kenya which was ranked first for both terms. The Zeitgeist report, released each year, highlights a trend of countries with anti-LGBTI laws and opinions to be more curious with gender and sexual minorities. The term ‘shemale’, commonly associated with transsexual pornography, was searched most in Somalia – with Kenya, Pakistan and Ethiopia not far behind. Meanwhile, ‘butt sex’

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Ugandan Government ministries split over gay HIV clinics

| December 10th, 2013 | Comments Off

Uganda’s Health Minister plans to roll out a series of HIV clinics targeting the needs of LGBTIs and sex workers in the East African nation, but the country’s Minster for Ethics and Integrity is outraged by the plan 18 months after attacking activists for opening a HIV clinic for LGBTIs in Kampala, Uganda’s Health Ministry has announced plans for similar clinics of their own – but the Ministry for Ethics and Integrity is strongly against them, showing a split in the government. Acting manager of the Health Ministry’s AIDS Control Program, Alex Ario, told the IRIN news service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that they are rolling out four clinics for the most at-risk populations (MARPs) in four locations in Kampala and several others in major HIV/AIDS hot spots in rural centers. The clinics will serve men who have sex with men (MSM) and female

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Gay activists protest arrests

| November 24th, 2013 | Comments Off

Anger is brewing in the gay community at home and abroad, as a criminal case against the chairman of a sexual minorities group starts today at the Nabweru Magistrate’s court in Wakiso district. Samuel Ganafa, executive director of Spectrum Uganda and chairman of Sexual Minorities Uganda, was arrested last week and paraded before the media by the police. He is accused of infecting one Disan Twesiga with HIV, although it is unclear how it happened. Ganafa, who has been detained at Kasangati prison, says he was tested for HIV against his consent and his home raided without a search warrant. He was briefly detained with Bernard Randell and Albert Cheptoyek, who are both facing related charges. Randell, a 65-year-old retired British expatriate, was charged with trafficking in obscene publications. The two were arrested after Randell reported a taxi driver, one Eric Bugembe, to the police for reportedly stealing his laptop.

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Ugandan President takes HIV test as part of prevention campaign

| November 12th, 2013 | Comments Off

The President of Uganda.Yoweri Museveni, has taken an HIV test in public, saying he wants all Ugandans to know their HIV status if the country is to reduce new infections. President Museveni conducted the test at the Kiswa Health Centre in Kampala, in front of government officials and reporters on Friday. Politicians in Uganda rarely test for HIV in public, despite recommendations from health experts that it would set a good example in a country that has seen HIV infection rates increase. Uganda remains notorious for its violent record towards the LGBT community. President Museveni has so far resisted passing the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. First introduced in 2009 by MP David Bahati, it specifies long jail sentences for those convicted of same-sex sexual acts and in certain cases has suggested the death penalty. In March, President Museveni accused European countries of trying to promote homosexuality and sexual liberalisation. He described

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Global court to consider arresting author of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ bill

| October 22nd, 2013 | Comments Off

The International Criminal Court may arrest a Uganda MP who put forward the bill, a tabloid newspaper who called on the public to ‘hang’ gay people, and a pastor who shows gay porn to stir up hatrd The International Criminal Court is considering arresting the author of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ bill. Magembe Norman, a straight Ugandan gay rights activist, has received a response to his complaint calling for the arrest of three extremist anti-gay spokespeople. The subjects of the complaint are Uganda MP David Bahati, pastor Martin Ssempa and Rolling Stone editor Giles Muhamel. In a letter passed exclusively to Gay Star News, the ICC said they were ‘analysing the situation’ provided and will consider whether there is reasonable basis to believe the crimes have been committed and the gravity of the crimes. Norman said he felt ‘very optimistic’ his complaint would succeed. Speaking to GSN, he said: ‘I

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Why Gay Pride Celebrations In Uganda Were Discreet

| August 5th, 2013 | Comments Off

Gay pride celebrations are held loudly each summer in New York, Paris and Berlin. But when Uganda held its version of the event this weekend, it was done very privately. It came as the Ugandan parliament considers a piece of extremely anti-gay legislation, and as discrimination against gays is widespread by Gregory Warner, NPR Source – NPR NewsPosted from Kampala, Central Region, Uganda.

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100 People Attend Uganda Gay Pride Parade

| August 4th, 2013 | Comments Off

Over 100 people attended Uganda’s second annual Gay Pride Parade held on a beach in the southern city of Entebbe on Saturday. According to Voice of America, police broke up last year’s parade. But activists said they viewed the overall event as a success. “The success gave us confidence that we can do it,” gay rights activist Kelly Mukwano said. “We are getting more confident as time goes by.” The march was held about 20 miles from Kampala, the largest city and capital of Uganda. “Today, we are here, miles away from Kampala,” said one marcher. “Baby steps. Soon we shall be on Kampala Road.” Uganda attracted worldwide condemnation in 2009 with the introduction of an anti-gay bill which proposed the death penalty against gay men and lesbians found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality,” or multiple violations. The controversial bill has yet to be debated by lawmakers. Beyondy, a transsexual, said

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Q&A: Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha

| June 20th, 2013 | Comments Off

Ottawa — Frank Mugisha is an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) activist from Uganda who was in Ottawa this week warning about the dangers of a new bill before his country’s parliament that has drawn international scorn. If passed, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill could, among other things, sentence gays and lesbians to death and jail those who fail to report known or suspected homosexuals. Here is a condensed version of his conversation with the Citizen. What is the status of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill? The anti-gay bill right now is in the legal and parliamentary affairs committee. The committee (is) ready to submit (its report) to the floor of parliament, so when this report is submitted, the bill can go ahead for debate. What punishment does the bill outline for homosexuals? It introduces the death penalty for any homosexual person living with HIV/AIDS, so if someone is born with HIV and they

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Where Being Gay Is a Life-and-Death Struggle

| June 13th, 2013 | Comments Off

Fighting Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill in ‘Call Me Kuchu’ As you listen to Ugandan politicians and preachers rant against homosexuality in the documentary “Call Me Kuchu,” a chilling sense of reliving the past sets in. “Kuchu” is a synonym for “queer” in Uganda. It is commonplace in many African countries nowadays for homosexuality to be denounced as an un-African disease imported from abroad. But as this movie shows, in rallies and workshops conducted by visiting American evangelicals like Lou Engle and Scott Lively, virulent homophobia is the real import. The same antigay rhetoric heard in the United States during the ascendancy of Anita Bryant and the evangelical right — but much harsher — is spewed by Ugandan zealots campaigning for the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, first introduced in 2009 and still pending. If the bill is passed by Uganda’s Parliament, homosexuals will face life imprisonment, and anyone who knows of

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