The last seven days have seen events unfolding around the world which present a challenge and stiff test for the LGBT community and activists. Nowhere more so is this the case than in Uganda.
The tragic death of teacher and LGBT activist David Kato in 2011 shocked the world and finally drew attention to the unacceptable discrimination and persecution of LGBT people in that country. A country where the state is often happy to overlook gang beatings, “corrective” rape and even murder of individuals on the basis of not only their sexuality but also their perceived sexuality and gender identity.
The pressure that was brought to bear by the global community at that time was sufficient to supress the initial attempts to pass an Anti-Homosexuality bill through Uganda’s parliament.
Sadly, on the 24th February 2014, Uganda’s president Museveni signed a new Anti-Homosexuality bill into law having been satisfied by “experts” that being LGBT was unnatural. This further stiffens the level of punishment in Uganda to a level just short of death.
The STUC LGBT Workers’ Committee strongly condemns this further infringement of individual human rights and is equally concerned with similar developments in Nigeria and Zimbabwe. We would urge all our affiliates to lobby the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to express our opposition to developments in Uganda and would also encourage individuals to write to their local MPs.
As a show of support to LGBT in Uganda and all around the world where they face discrimination, violence and imprisonment, the Equality Network is holding a rally on The Mound in Edinburgh on Friday 7th March between 12.00 pm and 1.30pm. We would urge trade union activists to show their support by attending this rally and send a clear message that Human Rights are to be protected.
STUC LGBT Workers' Committee