Welcome to our blog

Dear all, we welcome you to this blog, it is dedicated towards improving the dire situation of the lgbt persons in Uganda where discrimination, homophobia and sexism is currently at its peak. Join our cause and struggles as we make this world a better place for humanity.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Ugandan LGBT Press Statement on the AHB recently passed.

We shall not abuse power like the Parliament but we shall overcome using our inherent rights to expression, life, dignity and respect amongst so many.
Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender persons remind Ugandan leaders of their duty to protect its citizens. Making citizens live in fear is against human Rights instruments i.e International, regional and the constitution of Uganda to which you are a signatory. We also want to remind Uganda that during the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva March 2012, you are on records of the Human Rights Council that you will protect the LGBT community. You will be held accountable should this Act become law. This Act is a threat to the economic and social development of this country. We want to inform all Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender tourists and all friends and allies coming to Uganda that this is now a no go area as the Parliament has made it very clear that you are not welcome here. It is unfortunate to see that we have to raise this alarm, instead of being part of the campaign to promote the Ugandan tourism industry. This is not our making however Ugandan law makers have decided to make Uganda unsafe. The same fate awaits expatriates who come to work or invest in Uganda! Where is the spirit of patriotism when our leaders want their own, sentenced to life in prisons? This act /law would take Uganda back 50 Years. Issues of cutting Donor AID have arisen.
We want to make this very clear. We don’t support AID cut because of the detrimental effects this will have on our national budget that supports all Ugandans.
However we cannot influence foreign policies of donor countries whose citizen’s demand that tax payer’s money not be sent to countries that don’t respect Human Rights in general.
 We are calling on all Civil Society, Members of Parliament and all Ugandans who respect Human rights to strongly oppose the passage of this draconian Act. This Act, if passed into law will and is already affecting our present and future generations. We have to bear in mind that the Act is not only affecting the LGBT community but a majority of Ugandans. We call for calm within our community and allies and everyone who might be affected in the wake of the passage of this bill by parliament, be very vigilant during this trying time but don’t lose hope. God will make a way. We want to take this opportunity to thank the world for standing with us all these years and the years to come. Your undying support and solidarity to this community keeps us strong. Please continue. Finally we want to assure you that despite this setback we are not broken AND never will, in fact we are stronger than before and we shall not leave any stone unturned to challenge this Act and parliament’s actions. This is our country and you SHALL not determine for consented adults who they should love. We refuse to be marginalized!
Some Ugandans are GAY, get over it.
Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year

Friday, 20 December 2013

Bad Day for LGBTI community as Ugandan parliament passes draconian anti-gay bill

Kampala — Uganda's parliament on Friday adopted an anti-homosexuality bill that will see repeat offenders jailed for life, with lawmakers hailing it as a victory against "evil" for the deeply religious nation.
Deputies voted overwhelmingly in favour of the text, which has been widely condemned by rights activists and Western leaders -- with US President Barack Obama describing it as "odious".
The lawmaker behind the bill, David Bahati, said a death penalty clause was dropped from the final version of the bill, which must now go to President Yoweri Museveni for approval.
"This is a victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil," Bahati told AFP.
"Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks," he said.
First proposed in 2009, the bill had been shelved following international condemnation, but parliamentary spokeswoman Hellen Kaweesa said the changes meant that it had secured "majority support" among MPs.
The initially proposed bill would have introduced the death sentence for anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for a second time, as well as for gay sex where one partner is a minor or has HIV.
Homophobia is widespread in Uganda, where American-style evangelical Christianity is on the rise. Gay men and women in the country face frequent harassment and threats of violence. Rights activists have also reported cases of lesbians being subjected to "corrective" rapes.
In 2011, prominent Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was bludgeoned to death at his home after a newspaper splashed photos, names and addresses of gays in Uganda on the front page along with a yellow banner reading "Hang Them".
While homosexuality was already illegal, the new bill stiffens penalties and also criminalises the public promotion of homosexuality -- including discussions by rights groups.
The bill sparked a strong reaction from activists.
"I am officially illegal," Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha said after the vote.
Leslie Lefkow of Human Rights Watch said that President Yoweri Museveni "should not sign the abhorrent anti-homosexuality law just passed".
The vote also comes a day after parliament passed an anti-pornography law that bans anything that "shows sexual parts of a person such as breasts, thighs, buttocks", according to the Monitor newspaper.
It also outlaws "any erotic behaviour intended to cause sexual excitement or any indecent act or behaviour tending to corrupt morals".
In 2008, former ethics and integrity minister James Nsaba Buturo tried to pass similar legislation claiming a woman wearing provocative clothing risked causing traffic accidents by distracting drivers.
President Museveni called an uproar in 2012 when he told female school students to "keep a padlock on your private parts until the time comes to open them when you have a husband".
In addition to outlawing "provocative" clothing, the anti-pornography bill will result in scantily dressed performers being banned from Ugandan television. It will also closely monitor what individuals watch on the Internet.http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hGIAcRFCWWsNpSD-g3tPc4yQ2Eqw?docId=6ba408e1-4adc-4408-a6fc-8ce5e0d92ce6

Sunday, 18 August 2013

2nd Annual Uganda Gay Pride Parade.

Beyondy, who performed on August. 3, 2013, says she was beaten up by police at last year's gay pride parade. (Hilary Heuler/for VOA) 
Beyondy who performed on August. 3, 2013, says she was beaten up by police at last year's gay pride parade.
Saturday’s march was sheltered in the leafy recesses of a botanical garden about 20 miles from Kampala. But this year, police were informed in advance and the authorities did not intervene. Some revelers felt it was only a matter of time before they are able to march through the streets of the capital.

“Guys, it’s baby steps," said one marcher. "Today, we are here, miles away from Kampala. Baby steps. Soon we shall be on Kampala Road.”

Grim history

Uganda has a grim track record when it comes to gay rights.

The country grabbed headlines in 2009 with the introduction of a draconian anti-homosexuality bill which proposed the death penalty for acts of so-called “aggravated homosexuality.” The bill has yet to be debated by parliament.

The proposed legislation whipped up homophobia in Uganda and drove some homosexuals out of the country. But, according to Sandra Ntebi, who handles security for the gay and lesbian community, the number of activists has also been growing.

“We have more energy than three or five years back when the bill had just been tabled and everyone was running," Ntebi said. "We were not feeling that we really deserved to stay in our own country. But most of us have decided to come back on the ground and we fight for our rights from home.”

There is no question that being homosexual in Uganda is still difficult. Police regularly break up events held by the gay and lesbian community, and homosexuals are often disowned by their families and shunned by friends. Violence and intimidation occur on a regular basis.

Improving conditions

But Mukwano insists that the situation in Uganda has been exaggerated in the international media, and that there are plenty of countries that are worse.

“People are dying in Ethiopia," Mukwano said. "People are dying elsewhere in the world. In Jamaica, people are being beaten all the time because they are gay. So I think that was over-exaggerating that Uganda is the worst place to be gay.”

One brightly dressed transsexual, who goes by the name Beyondy, says that Saturday’s event just made her feel free.

“Last year, I was one of the people who were beaten up by the police," Beyondy said. "So today I’m happy that we are free. No one is staring and stopping our marching.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

UK Deported Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker dies

Campaigners are blaming the UK Border Agency for deporting an asylum seeker who has reportedly died in Uganda after she claimed she was at risk of homophobic persecution.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) deported Jackie Nanyonjo to the African country on 12 January.

Campaigners are blaming the UK Border
She had fought strongly against the deportation order and continued to resist the decision, becoming ill in the process, during her transit to Uganda’s Entebbe Airport.
According to the human rights group, Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary (MFJ), Jackie Nanyonjo died in Uganda on Friday 8 March. It said in a statement: “When Jackie arrived at Entebbe Airport the ‘escort’ party handed her over to the Ugandan authorities, who held her for many more hours without any medical attention.
“When family members finally met her, long after the flight had landed, Jackie was in terrible pain and vomiting blood; they rushed her to a clinic, but in a country with widespread poverty and limited medical facilities they were unable to get the medical attention Jackie needed.
“Since Jackie was in hiding as a known lesbian, protected by relatives, every trip to a doctor or hospital involved a risk to her life and to the safety of her family. They were condemned to watch the agonising decline of Jackie’s health and strength over the next two months.”
MFJ paid tribute to Jackie Nanyonjo and said: “In Britain she had been able for the first time to live and love openly as a lesbian; she was much-loved by a wide circle of friends who kept in touch with her after she was deported and who miss her deeply.”
The group has arranged for a protest to take place outside the Home Office in Westminster, central London, from 12.30pm on Thursday 14 March.
MFJ has repeatedly accused the UK Border Agency of trying to deport LGBT asylum seekers back to countries where they face homophobic persecution – the claims have always been denied by the Home Office and UKBA.
Gay people continue to face physical attacks and social rejection in Uganda.
In 2011, activist David Kato was beaten to death but police denied this was related to his sexuality.
The Ugandan Parliament is considering legislation aimed at increasing penalties for homosexual acts.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Controversial Journalist Andrew Mwenda on educating Ugandans to counter homophobia

By Melanie Nathan, February 09, 2013.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 2.53.46 PMAndrew Mwenda is one of the few straight and reasonable  voices to speak to the issues surrounding the Anti- homosexuality Bill in Uganda. He is an outspoken journalist who provides this video recording below as an explanation, with his reasoning, why the West should not cut AID to Uganda as a solution to the Anti-homosexuality Bill - and he provides a controversial desensitization suggestion.
The otherwise known " The Kill the Gays Bill," has been languishing in the political arena in Uganda, with a few Parliamentary introductions since 2009.  It is currently poised for passage at #6 on last Week's Parliamentary Agenda.
In this video Mwenda notes that 90% of Ugandans are homophobic and so he believes that cutting AID by the West is a counterproductive and antagonist approach which will not serve to educate Ugandans about homosexuality. He believes that a discussion of the issue and engagement over time will help to change attitudes in Uganda. He also suggests that the tabloid red pepper exposure of the gay sex act, could help desensitize Ugandans.
While I applaud Mr. Mwenda's stance and fully understand his reasoning, especially on the issue of sovereignty, it brings up a few issues for me, some which I think he may have missed.
Firstly he makes the cardinal mistake of equating homosexuality with the act of sex, by suggesting that if people see more images of the actual sex act between two men, they will become desensitized.  I am sorry to inform Mr. Mwenda that such an idea demonstrates that he is falling into the very trap that exacerbates homophobia in the first place.   Homosexuality is not about the act of sex or sodomy. That is how it has been sold as a negative concept in Uganda.  You have people like crazy Rev. Martin Ssemba ranting on and on about the act of sodomy. You have David Bahati the author of the Kill the Gays Bill, justifying death to homosexuals with his interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah.
So all Mwenda is really doing in this video discussion is perpetuating myth. Homosexuality is not about the act of sex. It is about two people of the same gender being attracted to each other and having a loving relationship, in respect of which sex is incidental.  Surely heterosexual people should understand that sex does not define their entire relationship?
Indeed one cannot force cultural change over night. But it is myth and lies that need to be countered and then maybe Ugandans will understand that homosexuality is not a cultural issue. It is a human issue. Sexuality is a human right. Ugandans do not understand this - that all humans - regardless of culture have the same innate sexuality experiences.  Thinking otherwise is like saying your brains and blood is different. It is the lack of understanding that is cultural and that can be remedied with truthful debate and a strategic re-education. The latter needs to be a mission, at the very least,  of the Christian colonialists and Evangelicals who started the lies in the first place.
1.  The issue of Sovereignty: - Indeed all countries must make their own laws unfettred. But now Uganda is seeking to make a law based upn a belief system supported only by myth and lies, as injected by white colonialists and Evangelical zealots.  Surely Mr. Mwenda a much more effective dialogue than one of mere infusion ought to be called for. Surely some worthy leadership from the straight community such as your good self is called for. This would need to be much more proactive before you can expect the world to simply accept that Ugandans can so legislate.
Take South Africa as an example.  How many more years would the South Africans have had to wait for the Afrikaner Government to get the message.,. It was sanctions that brought them to their knees on the issue. And it matters not whether a majority or minority of the population was impacted. it is all the same when you speak about sovereignty.
2. The issue of global participation: I agree, AID ought not be cut for the reason of homophobia.  However if it  is cut it should be because of Uganda's huge incidence of corruption - and not because of the Anti-homosexuality Bill. The latter will just cause a backlash and further scapegoating gays. So I agree in principle.  However what Mwenda does not seem to realize or simply omits is that some international corporations  have  a presence in Uganda, such as Barclays Bank and Hilton hotels. These companies have all inclusive hiring diversity policies on their website, and purposefully reach out to LGBTI people.  Does Uganda expect these companies to stay in Uganda and conform to their homophobia or do Ugandans respect their independence and right to their views too?
So while different to cutting AID, I have no doubt many businesses will be forced to stop doing business with Uganda and will be forced to stop operating in Uganda, because the new Anti-gay law will make it operationally impossible. remember the new law requires that an employer turn over a known gay within 24 hours or that employer can face three years in prison. no western busines in its right mind will continue to operate under such threat.
Mr. Mwenda you are a great voice for reason- however stop being an apologist and look at more productive ways to have this conversation at this time.  Using the issue of  asking that AID not be cute and the suggestion of more visual gay sex is hardly a strategy.  There is no time to waste for those whose lives will be dramatically impacted by the Bill.  There is no time to spend - for an entire generation to go by before education by infusion works; certainly not in a climate where there has been active promotion of the hate.
Andrew Mwenda is still a great ally and an important voice and I do not purport to understand Ugandans better than he does, however I believe strongly that it is time for people in his capacity to introduce a much more productive and proactive route toward the truth about homosexuality for presentation to Ugandans.
About Andrew Mwenda:
A Ugandan journalist, founder and owner of The Independent, Uganda's premier current affair's news magazine, he attended Busoga College Mwiri in eastern Uganda before attending Makerere University. He was arrested and released on bail by the Ugandan government for "being in possession of seditious material and of publishing inflammatory articles". He earned a master's degree in Development Studies at the University of London in the UK. He was previously the political editor of The Monitor newspaper and presenter of Andrew Mwenda Live on the KFM radio station. In 2005, he was among sixteen senior journalists invited by the British government to meet prime minister Tony Blair to discuss the forthcoming report of the Commission for Africa.
In August 2005 he was charged with sedition for broadcasting a discussion of the cause of death of Sudanese vice-president John Garang.
In July 2006, Mwenda appeared before the British House of Commons committee on Global Poverty to testify against aid to Africa. He has written widely on the effects of aid on the development process in Africa and been published in such prestigious newspapers as the International Herald Tribune and Der Spiegel and done radio and television documentaries for the BBC on this subject. Mr. Mwenda has also been widely quoted in international media - BBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, The Times, The Economist, and many other newspapers, radio and television networks in Europe and North America.
He has assiduously criticised aid agencies and charities for what he says is their ineffectiveness and collusion with corruption. He believes that western aid has been largely unhelpful for African development, since it encourages dependency, sustains wars and fuels corrupt states. He argues that aid goes to the least deserving states, those that have failed their people, rather than those that have reformed. In June 2007, he gave a speech about these issues at the TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania.
In 2008, he won an International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. The award is given for journalists who show courage in defending press freedom in the face of attacks, threats or imprisonment.

Kill the Gays Bill' revived in Uganda

Kill the Gays Bill' revived in Uganda, with some changes. Many fear damage is done, think law is passed

Bill would criminalize and condemn homosexuals to life in prison.

Homosexuals in Uganda are worried again after a bill that would criminalize and severely punish homosexual activity was revived in Parliament. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is notoriously known as the "kill the gays bill" because of its previous inclusion of the death penalty.

KAMPALA, UGANDA (Catholic Online) - The bill had been tabled for some time, after international condemnation, but it was revived late last year as a "Christmas present" from the Speaker of the Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

Ugandans who self-identify as gays are now fearing for their lives once again, and facing more threats and discrimination than ever before.

David Bahati, a Member of Parliament, proposed the The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in 2009. The bill contained language which mandated the death penalty for anyone who engaged in intercourse with same-sex persons, disabled persons, or children. The bill also made a point of affording HIV positive convicts who engaged in same-sex activity the death penalty too.

Life sentences were mandated for anyone who simply touched another person with the intent of "committing an act of homosexuality."

The bill was popular in the conservative African nation, but condemned around the world. Several countries, including the United States, vowed to cut aid funding if the bill was passed.

Challenges from human rights groups also helped push the law back to the shelf to die.

Following developments including the murder of a prominent homosexual activist, the bill was allowed to expire in May, 2011.

However, Speaker Kadaga revived the bill last November, saying the country's culture has "no room for gays."

The bill has been softened, but only a bit. The death penalty has been removed, now affording a few years in prison to life sentences for those duly convicted.

Same sex intercourse will result in a life sentence.

The bill is set for debate before the Parliament soon.

Homosexual activists are speaking out against the bill, which they say is cruel and harsh. Activists and others who identify as having same-sex attraction say they are fearful, even to speak out because they often receive threats. Even if the bill does not pass, there is concern that its mere discussion in government will somehow legitimize vigilante attacks against homosexuals.

Already some Ugandans say they believe the bill is already law and have acted accordingly, accusing people they think are homosexual and even attacking them.

If not for the Western world exercising extreme pressure on the Ugandan government, the bill would almost certainly pass. However, Uganda is dependent on the West for some 25 percent of its annual budget.
Homosexual activists vow to challenge the bill in court if it becomes law, however they fear that much of the damage will have already been done, even if the law is defeated.

Tragically, while the sin of homosexual behavior is just that, sinful, Uganda's sharp reaction to it is also out of step with the modern era and Church teaching. Today, theologians and moral philosophers, along with nearly all legal scholars condemn the notion of a death penalty for most acts of sexual deviance, particularly between consenting adults.

In the modern era, homosexuality is seen as a mental health question, although its status as a mental issue is still hotly debated.

It is unknown if Uganda will pass the bill, however if Western opposition remains strong, which it probably will, then those wishing to address the issue of homosexuality in Ugandan society would be better served taking an alternative, and possibly more Christian approach to the issue.

© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.


Gay people in Uganda: love on the run

In Uganda, gay people are being forced into exile. If a new bill becomes law, homosexuality will be punishable by death – which means many people are choosing to leave and seek asylum elsewhere

Gay bar in Kampala 
There is only one gay bar left in Kampala. Photograph: Mathias Christensen
Five police officers force three young men out of their one-room slum dwelling in Kampala, with no explanation. As they are dragged down the slum's main shopping street, their neighbours' hateful shouts make their "crime" all too clear: "Beat those gays up!" "Kill those monsters!" "Give them what they deserve!"
Threats were also issued – threats they had heard before:
"We'll burn down your house!"
After two days in a small, dirty prison cell they are released. Now they've gone underground, and hope to gain asylum in another country.
"We don't dare to live here any more. We have felt unsafe for a long time and it only gets worse. It's all the talk about that law that agitates people. If it is passed I am sure they will burn down the house," says one, a 23-year-old transsexual who prefers to be called "Bad Black" for safety reasons.
The law he refers to is the so-called "Kill the Gays" bill, which is set to become reality in Uganda within days. It is already illegal to commit a homosexual act in the country, but a unified parliament now supports a tightening of the law, which, among other things, will make it punishable by death to be a "serial offender".
The parliamentarian behind the bill is David Bahati. He describes homosexuality as an evil that has to be fought. He also says that he and his peers "do not hate the homosexuals but the sin in them".
Bahati's reference to sin reveals the direct connection between Uganda's politicians and a group of very influential pastors. One of these pastors is Moses Solomon Male, who travels the country presenting his talk, Understanding the Challenges of Homosexuality (Sodomy).
"Those homosexuals … They call it anal sex. It ruins the anus. And they say they enjoy it," said Male in a recent speech to Sunday-school pupils in a Kampala suburb. He also described the cornerstone of both the pastors' and the politicians' argument against homosexuals: That they are "recruiting" innocents to their side – especially children.
LGBT rights advocates are doing their best to challenge these views – and the bill. One of these, transsexual activist Pepe Julian Onziema, has courageously come out with his message as well as his sexuality. Homosexuality is not something you become, it is something you are, he stresses.
"The only thing we can do is to try to inform as many people as possible about how we're human beings just like them – just with different sexual preferences," he explains.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

David Kato Remembered | a Hero then and a Hero now

On January 26, 2011 the world received the shocking news of the murder of one of Uganda’s brave LGBTI warriors,  a hero then and still a hero now.
By Melanie Nathan, January 25, 2013.
Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 10.14.02 AMDavid Kato was born to the Kisule clan in its ancestral village of Nakawala, Namataba, Mukono District, in Uganda.  The younger of twins, he was educated at King’s College Budo and Kyambogo University and taught at various schools including the Nile Vocational Institute in Njeru, where he became aware of his sexual orientation and was subsequently dismissed without any benefits in 1991.
Later, He came out to his family members and then left to teach for a few years in Johannesburg, South Africa, during its transition from apartheid to multiracial democracy, becoming influenced by the end of the apartheid-era ban on sodomy and the growth of equal rights for LGBTI South Africans.
He returned to Uganda in 1998 and decided to come out in public through a press conference; he was arrested and held in police custody for a week.  He continued to maintain contact with pro-LGBT activists outside Uganda, and served as one of the catalysts for the movement of LGBTI pride that developed in Uganda.
Kato was among the 100 people whose names and photographs were published in October 2010 by  Giles Muhame in the Ugandan tabloid newspaper Rolling Stone in an article which not only outed him and the others, but also alluded to their execution through an the caption “HANG THEM,” which appeared next to a picture of a noose.  Together with others outed LGBTI Ugandans such as  Kasha Jaqueline Nabagesera and  Pepe Julian Onziema (SMUG), Kato  successfully  sued the newspaper to force it to stop publishing the names and pictures.  of people it believed to be gay or lesbian. The court ordered the newspaper to pay Kato and the other two plaintiffs  US$600 .
David Kato’s story as an activist is elucidated in the must watch documentary film, “Call Me Kuchu,” and if you never had the opportunity to know or meet David, after watching the film, you will feel as if he is your brother too.  The film received acclaim around the world and played to an historic 6 minute standing ovation in the Castro, San Francisco.  In the midst of making the film, David Kato was murdered, sending friends,  his dear family and dedicated comrades around the world into deep shock and grief.
Kato had spoken of an increase in threats and harassment since the court victory against Muhame, and it is clear that his sexual orientation and his activism were the motive for his murder.  Kato’s murderer was caught and tried and is now serving a 30 year prison sentence. Even though the local Ugandan media and  prosecution tried to spin the motive as if to seem David had made advances on his attacker, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary and it is highly likely that the murderer was set up to commit what was indeed an assassination of a great leader, who barely had time to realize his full potential.
David Kato advocated for the freedom of LGBTI Ugandans and for their right to their natural born sexual orientation in a heightened climate of hostility and homophobia, occasioned by extreme misunderstanding through the violent and harsh delivery of hyperbole and rhetoric, on Ugandan soil, by extremist American Christian Evangelicals, such as Scott Lively and Lou Engle, exporting hate in the name of their version of Christianity.
Today on this second anniversary of the death of David Kato, his friends, comrades, human rights defenders, and LGBTI people around the world are expressing their love, comforting each other and extolling the virtues of this great hero, with comments, memories and prayer for the peace of his dearly departed soul.