The wonderful Desmond Tutu makes a remarkable speech in tribute to the audience as he prepares to receive the ILGHRC Outspoken Award in 2008. Not sure if I posted this before but it is well worth watching again. His tribute begins at 2:35.
For Immediate Release
Statement on Nigeria’s Pending Anti Gay Legislation
by Jabulani Chen Pereira, IGLHRC Africa Program Coordinator
Roberta Sklar, Press Secretary, IGLHRC
(United Nations, New York, Dec 9) We urge the President of Nigeria to lead his government in a manner that clearly abides with the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The impact of the decision by the Nigerian Senate to pass this Bill, know as the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2011 has placed Gays, Lesbians, Gender Variant and Gender non-conforming citizens in great fear for their safety and well-being. The Bill reaches far beyond the issue of the right to marry. It not only bans same sex marriage, it criminalizes witnessing of such marriages, affection expressed publicly between members of the same sex, and a ban on the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations. As the Bill is now before the Nigerian House of Representatives for a vote and the President for his signature, we call on all United Nations Member States to denounce the Bill. We urge the Government of Nigeria to permanently withdraw this Bill from Nigerian politics.
Nigeria is currently ranked 156 of 187 on the United Nations Development Index (HDI). Within Nigeria there are overwhelming challenges regarding poverty eradication, access to basic health, and the right of all citizens to enjoy education. The question: Why is the Government of Nigeria targeting same sex relationships as its area of focus? This is counter-productive and merely shifts attention from its State priorities in attaining the challenges set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is the states responsibility to ensure that its citizens have access and enjoy all the rights set as out in the United Nation Declaration of Human Rights.
This Bill is in serious breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as Nigeria’s constitution that affords citizens the right to live in human dignity.
The specific restrictions of this bill and the banning of civil society organizations is a major step backwards in building an active, vibrant and tolerant society.
Via GP of Global Voices
Excellent that thoughtful people are doing such interesting and necessary work all over the world.
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) airs a Special Assignment documentary on the plight of LGBT refugees in that country. A must watch!
Via Mail & Guardian
“The resolution calls for an “open-ended intergovernmental working group to elaborate [on] new concepts such as sexual orientation”, and “decides that the aforementioned working group shall be the single modality and framework of the United Nations Human Rights Council within which all the deliberations on sexual orientation … shall be undertaken”.
The proposal has riled South African and international human rights and gay rights activists. Said Zackie Achmat, co-founder of the Social Justice Coalition: “As it stands the resolution would be unconstitutional.”
Read the article here.
In what seems to be a victory for human rights and a slap in the face of the American religious nuts who were promoting it – African Activist is reporting that the Uganda bill seems to be dead.
Read the bulletin from African Activist here.
“Outspoken Radio has officially launched the It WILL Get Better Africa campaign offering a message of hope to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. The campaign has a YouTube Channel for LGBTI Africans to speak out.”
Read the rest on African Activist here.
In TED’s first talk of 2011, Al Jazeera’s director-general shares his view on the uprisings sweeping the region.
A Dan Rather report on the revolting and disturbing practice of ‘corrective rape’ in South Africa.
“Dan Rather Reports, March 1, 2011 at 8pm ET on HDNetFifteen years after the end of apartheid, South Africa is struggling to implement the laws in its progressive constitution. Gays and lesbians in South Africa have more rights than many gay Americans, but that’s doesn’t mean they are safe. Lesbians are often the victims of corrective rape — a horrific crime where men sexually violate them in an effort to “correct” or “cure” their sexual orientation. Several non-governmental organizations claim corrective rape is on the rise, fuelled mostly by a growing homophobia in Africa.”