US ‘troubled’ by anti-LGBTI crackdown in Tanzania

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Nov. 9 said the U.S. is “troubled” by the Tanzanian government’s anti-LGBTI crackdown.

“The United States government is deeply concerned over escalating attacks and legislative actions by the government of Tanzania that violate civil liberties and human rights, creating an atmosphere of violence, intimidation and discrimination,” she said in a statement. “We are troubled by the continued arrests and harassment of marginalized persons, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and others who seek to exercise their rights to freedom of speech, association and assembly. Legislation is being used to restrict civil liberties for all.”

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US pastor to ask judge to reject Uganda anti-gay lawsuit

By : Wire Report
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts evangelist will ask a federal judge to reject a lawsuit that accuses him of waging a long campaign to persecute gays in Uganda.

An East African gay advocacy group filed the lawsuit in 2012 against minister Scott Lively under a statute that allows non-citizens to file U.S. court actions for violations of international law.

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AIDS pageant in Uganda seeks to stem stigma, discrimination

By : Wire Report
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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – When she was younger, Tryphena Natukunda’s mother discouraged her from swallowing her antiretroviral medicines among strangers or even distant relatives.

Because the girl had AIDS, which can fuel stigmatization and invite harsh judgment, the mother wanted her daughter’s condition kept a secret within the family.

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Ugandan police stop LGBT pride parade

By : Wire Report
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ENTEBBE, Uganda (AP) – Ugandan police prevented organizers from holding a gay pride parade Sept. 24 on the orders of a government minister who said such an event is illegal.

Police blocked organizers from staging the event at two locations outside the Ugandan capital, Kampala, said Frank Mugisha, a gay rights leader in Uganda.

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Uganda says police will arrest planners of gay pride parade

By : Wire Report
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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – A Ugandan official says police will arrest organizers who are planning a gay pride parade in the capital, Kampala.

Simon Lokodo, a cabinet minister in charge of ethics and integrity, said in a statement Sept. 21, that the event had not been cleared by the police and would offend the country’s laws.

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Under the Rainbow: U.S. group helps LGBT Ugandans travel from hatred to hope

By : Greg Stemm
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At a time when America and other Western countries have made tremendous strides toward LGBTQ equality – including the right to marry – one country in Africa, Uganda, has taken an entirely different path. It’s a path that has included almost unthinkable persecution, beatings, denial of health care, denial of basic living needs and even death as official, government-sanctioned actions. Shockingly, some of the blame may be laid at the feet of fundamentalist American Christian groups, although now it is people of faith from the United States who are rushing to the aid of beleaguered LGBTQ Ugandans, helping them to escape as refugees to other nations.

This is a story that will probably mortify most Americans. Uganda is a place where people are outted and then completely shunned by their families. Their names are read aloud in shame on the radio. They are fired from their jobs and evicted from their homes. Without access to living space, food or health care, many simply perish. Those that don’t can be subject to state-supported beatings, maiming or even death. The atmosphere of terror extends to the families of LGBTQ people, who can also face persecution. The stories remind one of the days of Jews in Nazi Germany.

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Exclusive Interview with a Refugee: A Personal Story of Persecution and Dramatic Escape

By : Greg Stemm
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“Jane” is 34 years old and grew up gay in her native Uganda, enveloped by an atmosphere of hatred towards homosexuality. After years of persecution, she was smuggled out of Africa and resettled in Europe where she is making a new life for herself. Watermark is unable to use her real name or the country to which she has relocated. Revealing too much information could place her and those who helped her at risk.

Working together closely with Olympia Quaker Meeting, Watermark was able to secure an exclusive interview with “Jane.” What follows is her story in her own words:

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Gay Ugandan activists hope Pope Francis will speak on their behalf during visit

By : Wire Report
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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Gay activists are hoping Pope Francis will preach tolerance toward homosexuals, and even go so far as to condemn violent attacks against gays during his upcoming visit to Uganda. Church leaders, however, are praying he’ll avoid the issue altogether.

The divergent expectations underscore the acrimonious state of the gay rights debate on a continent where homosexuality remains taboo and homosexuals are greatly despised. In Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and where attacks against gays have forced many to seek refuge abroad or lead secret lives at home, gay leaders nevertheless hope Francis when he comes on Friday will weigh in with a firm message of tolerance.

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Ugandan lawmakers draft new anti-gay bill

By : Wire Report
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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan lawmakers have drafted a new anti-gay bill that could be introduced for debate in the country’s parliament before Christmas, a parliamentarian said Nov. 20.

The new bill is in “advanced stages” and will focus on punishing the promotion of being gay, said Ugandan lawmaker Latif Ssebaggala, a strong supporter of anti-gay legislation.

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Uganda president not rushing reintroduction of anti-gay law

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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A lawmaker with Uganda’s ruling party says President Yoweri Museveni is urging parliamentarians not to rush to reintroduce a controversial anti-gay law that was invalidated earlier this month.

Medard Bitekyerezo, who supports the legislation, said Aug. 12 that Museveni asked them “not to cause chaos” by quickly reintroducing the bill.

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Activists want gay rights on Africa summit agenda

By : Wire Report
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Human rights and gay rights activists on July 29 urged President Barack Obama to ensure that the issue of anti-gay discrimination in Africa is on the agenda at next week’s summit in Washington with more than 40 African leaders.

The Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights organization, and Human Rights First, which advocates aggressive U.S. stances on human rights issues abroad, issued a statement depicting the summit as a “once-in-a-generation moment” to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Africans.

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Susan Rice: Protecting gays is most difficult issue

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – With anti-gay laws taking root in nearly 80 countries, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice on June 24 cast the protection of gays from global discrimination, abuse and even death as one of the most challenging international human rights issue facing the United States.

Rice told a White House forum of gay rights advocates that President Barack Obama has directed that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women around the world. She urged religious, human rights and HIV health care advocates to form a united front to halt global discrimination against the gay community.

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