October 2009


30th October, 2009

 DENOUNCE THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL IN THE PARLIAMENT OF UGANDA.

PROTEST AT THE UGANDAN DIPLOMATIC MISSION IN YOUR COUNTRY

 

Dear Partners, Allies and Friends,

 As you already know, the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.” was recently tabled before the Parliament of Uganda. The Bill’s provisions are draconian and among them are;

 •       Any person alleged to be homosexual would be at risk of life imprisonment or in some circumstances the death penalty;

 •       Any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities would face fines of $ 2,650.00 or three years in prison;

 •       Any teacher who does not report a lesbian or gay pupil to the authorities within 24 hours would face the same penalties;

 •       And any landlord or landlady who happens to give housing to a suspected homosexual would risk 7 years of imprisonment.

 •       Similarly, the Bill threatens to punish or ruin the reputation of anyone who works with the gay or lesbian population, such as medical doctors working on HIV/AIDS, civil society leaders active in the fields of sexual and reproductive health, hence further undermining public health efforts to combat the spread of HIV;

 •       All of the offences covered by the Bill as drafted can be applied to a Ugandan citizen who allegedly commits them – even outside Uganda!

 The existing law has already been employed in an arbitrary way, and the Bill will just exacerbate that effect. There is a continued increase in campaigns of violence and unwarranted arrests of homosexuals. There are eight ongoing cases in various courts. Four accused persons are unable to meet the harsh bail conditions set against them. As a result, Brian Pande died in Mbale Hospital on 13th September, 2009 as he awaited trial.

 Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) calls upon you our partner, ally and/or friend to action. Denounce this bill through a protest at a Ugandan Diplomatic Mission in your country on November 9th 2009, where applicable. Urge the Government of Uganda to reject this Bill in its entirety.

For your reference, please find attached two press statements released by SMUG and Ugandan Civil Society as well as a copy of the bill that was tabled in parliament.

 (READ PREVIOUS POSTS)

 

Thank you for standing in solidarity with the Uganda LGBTI community.

 

For more information, please contact:

Frank Mugisha

Email:fmugisha@sexualminoritiesuganda.org

Telephone: + 256 772 616 062

 

Valetine Kalende

Email: vkalende@faruganda.org

Telephone: +256 752 324 249

 

…………………………………………..

 

Frank Mugisha

Chairperson

Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG

P.O. Box 70208, Clock Tower

Kampala, Uganda. EA

Email:fmugisha@sexualminoritiesuganda.org

Alter:frankmugisha@gmail.com

Telephone: +256 312 294 859

Mobile: + 256 772 616 062

Website: www.sexualminoritiesuganda.org

 

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re/posted for critical analysis. this article was written By Elizabeth Mwai.

I only have questions to present. if the state is willing to spend $40m to count GAY  kenyans. then can they channel that money through  GALCK  as the only coalition group working towards sexual minorities rights?  and seeing as GALCK  and Ishtar were already double crossed once just a few moons ago, can we ensure that the steering committee is comprised mainly of queers & trannies (yes, if you’re gonna bandika names on us, then we can choose our own ‘foreign’ terms)?

and can the state be held accountable to its promises? frankly we just don’t trust y’all…if you’re so interested in helping us, then strike down those criminalising laws…it’s as simple as bahati….just table a bill. then…maybe…we can work together in finding out what our needs are..

right now I fear you may jus set the pigs after me. you’ve already sent the vultures en all the closet faggots you could muster to “sell” us OUT…what you don’t know, those are not OUR  people.

we are the ones who speak back, who resist your borrowed notions of identity. we are the ones who remain TRUTHful, even when it’s deadly…like that anti homosexuality bill.

before we go ahead with population council, can we spend that money counting all the criminals in parliament and all arms of state? that money should be enough to get us started on a major cleansing of the revolushunary kind.

my position would be to spend that $40m on service delivery…we know we’re here, you’re the one that’s casting it as unfamiliar.

 The Government will spend Sh40 million on a research to establish the number of gay Kenyans.  

 The survey, set to begin in December till June next year, is the first of  its kind.

On Tuesday, National Aids and STD Control Programme (Nascop) director  Nicholas Muraguri said the survey would be done in conjunction with the  National Population Council.

 “We cannot continue excluding this group identified as a key driver to new  HIV/Aids infections,” said Dr Muraguri.

In an interview with The Standard, Muraguri said establishing the population of men who have sex with men would facilitate development of  interventions.

 Apart from knowing their population, Muraguri said the study was aimed at understanding their behavioural practices, condom use and risk factors.

 Murgauri said it is believed majority is married for purposes of trying to  hide their preferences.

“We want to know how many partners do they usually have, are they married, > do they use drugs and what’s their care seeking behaviour,” said Muraguri.

 *Hot spot*  Currently, the gay hotspot is believed to be Coast Province, Nairobi and

tourist sites, including game reserves.

 Muraguri said gay men had been known to have an almost five times higher  the national HIV prevalence than the normal average

 He said social exclusion has globally been identified as a major  contributor to ill health among gays.

 He said the Government finds it challenging to tackle the spread of new infections estimated at 100,000 cases annually because of ignoring key  drivers to the scourge.

 Studies have shown 15 per cent of the new HIV infections are attributed to gays.

 According to the Mode of Transmission Study conducted at Coast Province in 2007 and results released last year, they were responsible for up to 20 per  cent of the new HIV infections in the region.

 The most at risk have been identified to be commercial sex workers, truckers, injecting drug users and gays.

 Muraguri said the Ethical Review Board would appraise tools for the study.

He said most programmes on gays were mostly driven by NGOs, a situation the Government ought to take charge off.

 He said by gathering such information, they would reach out to the group in the fight against spread of HIV and Aids.

> Read all about: standardmedia

> <http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=standardmedia>National

Aids and STD Control Programme

<http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=National+Aids+and+STD+Control+Programme&gt;

 Nascop

> <http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=Nascop>gay

marriage

> <http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=gay+marriage&gt;

 lesbians

> <http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=lesbians&gt;

Peter N. Njane

 Director ISHTAR MSM

 TEL:+254721952570

 EMAIL:pnjoro2002@yahoo.com <EMAIL%3Apnjoro2002@yahoo.com>

 pnjane@ishtarmsm.org

> *ww* <http://www.galck.org/ishtar>** <http://www.galck.org/ishtar>*

> http://www.ishtarmsm.org.

> * <http://www.galck.org/ishtar&gt;

 

Granny Boots presents the PROTEST BAHATI! party –

@issue: launch of Sistas in Solidarity (SIS)

@ issue: 15th October, 2009

 

FOR immediate PRESS RELEASE:            

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)  Condemn the tabled anti-homosexuality bill

 

As a network of human rights activists, working in the areas of sexual rights as well as other human rights issues, we write to urge you to oppose a repressive bill which was tabled in Parliament of Uganda on 14th October 2009.

This bill is a blow to the steady progress of democracy in Uganda. It proposes criminalization of advocacy and support for the rights of homosexual Ugandans.  It also prohibits any public discussion or expression of gay and lesbian lives and any organizing around sexual orientation.  In doing so, it violates the basic rights to freedom of expression, conscience, association, and assembly, as well as internationally recognized protections against discrimination.   The proposed bill intention is to divide and discriminate against the Ugandan homosexual population, and exclude them from participation in public life, which goes against the inclusive spirit necessary for our economic as well as political development. Its spirit is profoundly undemocratic and un-African.

Over the recent months increased campaigns of violence have gone uncontrolled. The violence directed at Homosexual Ugandans has resulted in the unwarranted arrests of many people; there are eight ongoing cases in various courts all over Uganda of which four accused persons are unable to meet the harsh bail conditions set against them.  These acts of violence have now resulted in the deaths of several homosexual people, such as Brian Pande at Mbale Hospital as he awaited trial. This bill aggravates stigma and hatred; and renders all promised protections enshrined in the constitution for all Ugandan citizens void.

 Religious leaders and policy makers have also exhibited very hostile attitudes towards otherwise peace keeping homosexual Ugandans by publicizing slanderous and hateful messages in the media, creating serious security concerns for the lives of SMUG network members

Uganda has repeatedly pledged to defend these fundamental freedoms in the Constitution; it has also signed treaties binding it to respect international human rights law and standards, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.  As part of the community of nations forming sexual minorities we urge Ugandan parliamentarians and government to continue to respect these principles and reject this bill, which establishes a new and totally undemocratic level of policing private life. SMUG condemns both of these positions as undemocratic and unacceptable.  

These positions will further set a dangerous precedent and send a signal that any Ugandan’s privacy is unguaranteed -that all of our civil society could be put under attack.     If this bill is passed into law, it will clearly endanger the work of all human rights defenders and members of civil society in Uganda.

 This proposed legislation violates Uganda’s most basic obligations to the rights, and well-being, of its people. By signing international treaties and entering the international community, the Ugandan government has undertaken the obligation to promote and protect the human rights of its population, without discrimination on any grounds. As the Sexual Minorities in Uganda, we urge you to act on that obligation, and to further the growth of our democracy.  Kindly vote against this bill.

ISSUED BY

Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG

Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG is a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people’s organizations based in Uganda.

 

For further details, contact:

Frank Mugisha

Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG

Email:fmugisha@sexualminoritiesuganda.org

Tel: +256772616062

 

David Kato

Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG

Email: advocacy@sexualminoritiesuganda.org

Tel: +256773104971

 

Valentine Kalende

Freedom and Roam Uganda – FARUG

Email: vkalende@farug.org

Tel: +256752324249

music to tide me through the exile…..

getting by with the words of beautiful souls,

en re/learning the power of patience…..

 

i’ll be waiting….to go back home…to another place, (not) here.

Dear Madam Secretary:
We write to raise serious concerns about the “Anti-Homosexual Bill” introduced in Uganda’s parliament earlier this month. This egregious bill represents one of the most extreme anti-equality measures ever proposed in any country and would create a legal pretext for depriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Ugandans of their liberty, and even their lives. Particularly given the United States’ substantial contribution to Uganda through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), we believe swift action is necessary to ensure Ugandan leaders understand this bill is wholly unacceptable and antithetical to democratic values.
 
As you may know, the “Anti-Homosexual Bill” would increase the penalty for “same sex sexual acts” to life in prison, limit the distribution of information on HIV through a provision criminalizing the “promotion of homosexuality,” and establish the crime of “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by death for anyone in Uganda who is HIVpositive and has consensual same-sex relations. Further, the bill includes a provision that could lead to the imprisonment for up to three years of anyone who fails to report within 24 hours the identities of everyone they know who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, or who supports human rights for people who are, to the government.
 
Last year, PEPFAR spending in Uganda amounted to almost $300 million, representing approximately 2.60% of the total Ugandan economy. According to these estimates, the U.S. spends approximately $12 dollars per person in Uganda through PEPFAR. Dr. Eric Goosby, Ambassador atLarge and Global AIDS Coordinator, has made it clear that he believes efforts to combat discrimination against LGBT individuals are an important part of PEPFAR’s mission to combat global HIV/AIDS. During his Senate confirmation hearing in June, Dr. Goosby stated, “if confirmed, I look forward to working with field and headquarters staff, Congress and others in the Administration to ensure that PEPFAR effectively targets the most at-risk and vulnerable populations – including LGBT populations – with culturally appropriate prevention, care and treatment interventions.” The “Anti-Homosexual Bill” would clearly impede Dr. Goosby and PEPFAR’s goals by seriously compromising efforts to reach LGBT communities in Uganda. We believe it would undermine the substantial U.S. contribution to Uganda through PEPFAR and raise serious questions about the effectiveness of this global health investment.
 
Madame Secretary, we applaud your leadership on LGBT issues and steadfast commitment to human rights. It is our fervent hope that you will use every means possible to convey to Ugandan leaders that this bill is appalling, reckless, and should be withdrawn immediately. We stand ready to work with you in addressing this matter and look forward to your response. If you have any questions, please contact Amber Shipley of Rep. Baldwin’s staff at 202-225-2906.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Tammy Baldwin
Howard Berman
Gary Ackerman

GRANNY BOOTS hosts the launch of Sistas in Solidarity (SIS)

when: Wednesday November 4th

where: The GladStone Hotel.1214 Queen St.West

time: 7:30 – 10:30 (ish)

after party: SWAGGER  hosts Fresh To Def

 

tdot39 (40) 

 

details: radical, queer stuff

join us for the official launch of the Pan-Afrikan Queer/Trans Activists listserv, hosted by Fahamu.

we’ll be screening an exclusive television interview with Toronto’s 2009 International Pride Parade Grand Marshall, Victor Juliet Mukasa.

en excerpts from 2 upcoming documentaries by local filmmakers
….


performances by Abstract Random, Amai Kuda, Ayo Leilani & more

we’ll be celebrating Pouline Kimani’s birthday en exchanging zawadis.

 

bring your beautiful soul, and your friends……

come en RIOT with us!

queerwomen

 

it’s (not) a SECRET! we’re doing this, because, yes! we can…..

A STATEMENT BY THE KENYAN LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX COMMUNITY ON HEALTH, SAME-SEX SEXUALITY AND MEDIA.

 GALCK

A few years ago, when the Members of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya  – GALCK, held their first meeting, we decided to use the term “we the indigenous Kenyans,” to emphasize that we, the Gay and Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people are truly Kenyan, and not foreigners or even influenced by any western ideology in accepting our inherent sexuality: same sex relationships and other sexual orientations than heterosexual.

We now again jointly release this statement in which we underline the  following concerns:

While we celebrate the publicity that the media has given to a largely ignored and silenced community in Kenya, we also note with concern that this publicity has also been sensationalized and with the intention of creating an impression that the LGBTI community in Kenya has certain unstated subterranean agenda which goes against our cultural traditions and value systems. We the members of GALCK love and hold in high esteem the African values of love, charity, family and (….) complete sentence We have read with great concern the widely publicized media reports that we are interested in gay marriages. We wish to categorically state that we are NOT. This seems to be the agenda of the media and not of LGBTI Kenyans. We have too many pressing issues like our fellow Kenyans at the present time.

From lack of jobs, ever increasing food prices, ethnic hatred to be concerned about same sex marriages. we would further like to note that just because we are not inclined to pursue the marriage agenda at this time in our struggle,does not mean that we condone the unfair and intrusive reporting on such marriages as we believe every one of us holds the freedom of choice in their private affairs. In addition to these shared concerns of all Kenyans we additionally are asking for freedom from discrimination, in

provision of services, freedom from police brutality, freedom from prolonged and impolite gazes, and generally any form of unfair treatment simply for who we are. All we are asking for is polite and humane treatment – the same kind of treatment that any Kenyan would want to receive from another human person.

Thirdly, we are most appalled by the treatment given to our family members. It was extremely shameful and intrusive of the media to ambush old and ailing parents of a gay person with inhumane questions about their child, one whom they had not seen in such a long time. It is as if, by embracing our sexuality, our families ipso facto loose any right they have to privacy, dignity and fair and humane treatment from the media. Please leave our families out of it, they do not choose our sexual orientation for us, and for many within the family our sexual choices are a struggle for them to accept. Exposing them to public humiliation serves no purpose at all.

Most Kenyans are appalled by the conduct of the media, in this regard and we know there are some in the media fraternity with a sense of decorum and propriety, we hope they will prevail on this uncouth behavior of their colleagues.

We are very much concerned about public and personal health of our society. In an era of HIV/AIDS, one group that has recently been identified by various government studies to be heavily impacted by HIV is men who have sex with men. Because of our society’s attitude towards them many are also married and have children and represent all cadres of our society. When there is sidelining and discrimination on any segment of our society, as is being done here on LGBTI Kenyans, then there can never be success in fighting HIV and AIDS. These communities will go underground making it very  difficult to provide prevention, treatment and care for all our citizens ensuring the continued spread of HIV. It is important to realize there is no society in the world that has ever eradicated homosexuality through  compulsory heterosexuality – enforced heterosexuality only leads to more HIV infections, inability to reach the Most at Risk Populations with properly targeted protection messages and widespread vulnerability.

It is in recognizing the deeply entrenched African value of life that we are urging all LGBTI Kenyans to embrace their sexuality and practice it safely and to protect all that they partner with.

Lastly the LGBTI Kenyans do not stop anyone from living their lives as they see fit. Indeed we do not even stop preachers and saints from preaching and living their saintly lives. While we believe that sexual orientation is innate and cannot be changed (even though one can live a semblance of heterosexuality) we do not in anyway impede on those who want to pray same-sex sexuality away from doing so, nor do we stop the preachers from helping them to pray it away. All we are asking is for a legal and constitutional order that respects our freedom of conscience and right to exist. Kenya belongs to both the religious believers and non-believers and our laws should not be dictated by the teachings of any religious persuasions. Indeed religious freedom also means freedom not to believe. If  LGBTI people have no place in the church, they are still Kenyans and should also be protected by the law.these sentence feels like a direct attack on religion without context-can we rephrase to mean everyone else and the media?

 Therefore we call for equal treatment before the law. Such is in the interest of the health of the entire society in the era of HIV/AIDS, and in the interest of the observance of everyone’s basic human rights. I understand the need of using HIV as our entry point or right/how does this reflect on the homophobic views the media is already giving?I think we should add that what we expect is responsible reporting maybe even offer first hand interviews in response to matters of public interest(chege+charls) this will ensure they have more info???

 written and signed by

Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya

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