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LGBT Rights in Africa
Transcript of LGBT Rights in Africa
International Human Rights Day "Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human... ...it is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished... ...in reality, gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world... ...being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality." ~ Hillary Clinton 8:11 - 10:36 Discrimination in Kenya Kenya has made homosexuality illegal and punishable by 14 years of prison.
Even with this, Kenya is considered the more liberal of African countries.
There are refugee camps in Kenya that LGBT members escape to out of their countries however they are even prosecuted in here and can find no safety.
KHRC (Kenya Human Rights Commision) reports that of all LGBT community members only 18% of those have told their families of their sexual orientation. Of that 18%, 85% have been disowned by their families. by Steven Bagoly, Emily Pisarra, Tori Sicotte South Africa The troubles and triumphs One of many Cases of Human Rights Violations Unrest in Uganda Steps forward: Legalized same sex Marriage
Section 9 in South African constitution gurantees the right to equality and prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation http://bcove.me/qs3211sh Steps backwards: Frequent vicious attacks on lesbians Several cases of "Corrective rape"
which is NOT categorized as a hate crime and is often not prosecuted, or even investigated Eudy Simelane: -Former star of South Africa's Banyana Banyana national female football team
-stabbed 25 times on the face, chest, and legs
-gang raped, then left to die half naked in a creek
-judge claimed sexual orientation played no role in it and displayed openly homophobic
-One of the very few cases that resulted in conviction because someone pleaded guilty "South Africa has an affirmative duty... to classify corrective rape as a hate crime and provide extended protection to lesbians across South Africa." a quote by Tiffani Wesley *Some cases reported to be girls as young as 13
*Support groups claim to hear up to 10 new cases a week Phumia Rose Masuku Her difficulties growing up as a lesbian in South Africa - Desribed it as extremely difficult
-was out at age 15
-Her family tried to "save her" by taking her to church
-Priests made rituals to kill the demons inside her
-Family also took her to a sangoma (a traditional healer)
-Feels as if there is no place for women in South Africa,
let alone lesbians
-Afraid to go home because it is unbearable
"We (LGBT members) have to fight to make our beautiful constitution be respected." Utter lack of understanding of South African people as to the fact that homosexuality is not a sin and cannot be cured No Protection for LGBT members In Kenya, LGBT members cant even find safety with the police as they are harrassed by them
Police will hold these people in "remand" houses and will be brought into court upon false charges
There has also been reports of corrupt officers black mailing LGBT people for money in escape of being wrongly arrested with no real reason.
People will also pose as police men and forcefully enter the homes of these people. A gay man and his partner that were interviewed told their story of how they were gang-raped by these false officers claiming they had been tracking his text messages knowing they were to commit sodomy. Change and acceptance? In Kenya there are studies being conducted in spread of HIV/AIDS between gay couples in Africa.
This can really help in the disease prevention however it doesnt solve the problem of the lack of tolerance of homosexuality.
Laws will need to be inforced banning and punishing any threatening behavior towards any sort of person. *Difficult to have stabalized group fighting together for LGBT rights due to racial lines ...almost all 54 nations ban homosexuality... Starting a few years ago, United States President Obama has moved to "ensure US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons" around the world.
He sent legal, moral, and finacial support to gay rights organizations, and is providing help for any individuals forced into hiding due to homophobic persecutions.
"Homosexuality here is taboo, it’s something anathema to Africans, and I can say that this idea of Clinton’s, of Obama’s, is something that will be seen as abhorrent in every country on the continent that I can think of.” Uganda attempted to impose a bill to sentence anyone to death guilty of "aggravated homosexuality"
The bill did not pass, but there is still a 14-year jail sentence to anyone caught "gay"
There is also a 10-year jail sentence for anyone positively associated to sentenced homosexuals, or anyone promoting gay marriage. John Nagenda, a senior adviser to Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni, is insulted by this. In an interveiw with The Christian Science Monitor, he said: Ifeanyi Kelly Orazulike a gay man in Nigeria, one of the most strict countries in terms of LGBT Rights “I’ve been beaten up — gotten my head broken. I’ve gotten death threats.”
"Nigeria is perhaps among the worst places in the world to live if you are gay. And, if Nigerian lawmakers get their way, it might get worse." Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is considering signing a legislation that would restrict “expression, assembly, or organization based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” which would send anyone "aiding or abetting" same-sex marriage to prison for 14-years, and is so broad that it could also include criminalizing sexual minority supporting organizations, including HIV/AIDS clinics. Despite there being many human rights activists against this, the religious population is majority, and they "see same-sex marriage as an abomination.” At hearings, people who speak out against the legislation are too few and often get beaten up, robbed, or even killed. Ifeanyi has found a gay community in Nigeria that helps people find homes and jobs, and even has a church called "The House of Rainbow" which recently reopened after closing in 2008. When he was attacked a few months ago he said his neighbors may have saved his life.
“People in my neighborhood know me, know about my sexuality, know I’m open,” he said. “They came out to say, ‘You can’t do that to him. He’s a nice person. He’s with us.’ They went as far as to chase some of the guys and fight them back.” Questions?