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26 November, 2009

Uganda: CAISO calls on Museveni, Manning, CARICOM to speak up on homosexuality, make CHOGM a “cathedral of human rights”


CAISO released the following statement yesterday:

CAISO stands with human rights advocates of all stripes across the Commonwealth and the world in issuing a call to Commonwealth Chairs Ugandan President Museveni and our own Prime Minister Patrick Manning:

We urge them to use Trinidad & Tobago’s shores to speak out forcefully against legislation introduced by a member of the Ugandan Parliament that would deprive all gays and lesbians and people with HIV of the core benefits of citizenship. We urge President Museveni to bring to defeat the bill which would prescribe life imprisonment for consensual sex, and which singles out lesbians and gays with HIV for death if they have sex, even with a partner to whom they disclose their HIV status.

Photo courtesy Newsday

Sadly, CHOGM in Uganda saw lesbian, gay and transgender Ugandans beaten by security forces for speaking out in the Commonwealth People’s Space. CHOGM in Trinidad & Tobago provides an opportunity to repair that. We encourage Prime Minister Manning and all other CARICOM leaders to join President Museveni in making CHOGM here in Trinidad & Tobago a cathedral of human rights by joining their voices in joint opposition to moving any Commonwealth state backward on human rights.

No self-respecting leader of the Commonwealth, either incoming or outgoing, or of the region, can turn a blind eye to such a threat to sexual freedoms. Public health leaders have made it eminently politically safe for our leaders to do what is right when it comes to protecting the freedom and equality of their citizens who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and living with HIV, and who seek to harm no one in pursuit of our human and God-given gifts. What is more, here in Trinidad & Tobago doing so has no real political cost. It is, more importantly, a deeply principled way to show leadership in the world community, ensure human dignity, and save human lives.

LINKS:

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009

Remarks by Stephen Lewis, Co-Director of AIDS-Free World Delivered at the Commonwealth People’s Forum on the Eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)

News articles

“Ugandan church leader brands anti-gay bill ‘genocide'”, UK Guardian

“Row Over Uganda Bill” by Andre Bagoo, Newsday, 26 November 2009CNews lead story, 24 November 2009: “Former UN Official criticizes leaders criminalizing same sex activity”

Museveni messaging sticks: Newsday article on his address to Commonwealth Business Forum opens: “Even as his administration is under international fire for a proposed bill which seeks to impose custodial sentences and even death for homosexuality, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni…”

“Proposed Uganda legislation could accelerate Caribbean homophobia” by Gary Eleazar, Kaieteur News, 26 November 2009

African websites

Uganda’s Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights & Constitutional Law

Africans Against Hate

SMUG: Sexual Minorities Uganda

Gay Uganda blog

Pambazuka News

Human rights & research

Political Research Associates: “Globalizing the Culture Wars: US Conservatives, African Churches, and Homophobia”

International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Human Rights Watch

“This Alien Legacy”, HRW report on the colonial legacy of sodomy laws in Africa and Asia

Former UN Official criticizes leaders criminalizing same sex activity
Tuesday 25th November, 2009

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