Tag Archives: Anti-Gay Discrimination

Russian LGBT Leader To Challenge Anti-Gay Politician For Seat in St.Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly

A leading Russian gay activist, Nikolai Alexeyev, has announced he will run against a prominent anti-gay politician for a seat in St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly.

For years, Alexeyev has been the most outspoken and brave of Russia’s small group of gay activists. Head of the group Moscow Pride, he has tried repeatedly to stage gay rights marches in the Russian capital, only to face attacks by police and fascist thugs.

Alexeyev successfully sued the city government in the European Court of Human Rights; in response, Moscow banned gay pride parades for 100 years. He has been a constant presence in the Western media, talking about the plight of gays in Russia.

He has now said in an Instagram post that he has decided to run for the seat currently held by Vitaly Milonov in the 2016 election.

Milonov is one of the most outspoken anti-gay activists in Russia. He is also the author of controversial legislation that bans the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” among minors, a version of which was adopted in St. Petersburg before it became a national law in 2013.

Alekseyev said in his statement that he hopes to “once and for all release” the people of St. Petersburg from Milonov by defeating him in the election.

Hatred Has Consequences: Gambia Stripped of Special Trade Status Over Anti-Gay Law

Gambia will no longer be allowed to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act due to its anti-gay laws, as the US boots them from Trade Program.

The country had previously been afforded special benefits due to its status, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000, which allowed it to export goods worth $37 million each year to the US without paying duty.

However, theWhite House announced that Gambia would be removed from the scheme, after President Yahya Jammeh signed a law punishing homosexuality with life imprisonment.

“The US Trade Representative (USTR) has been monitoring the human rights situation in The Gambia for the past few years, with deepening concerns about the lack of progress with respect to human rights, rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process. 

In addition, in October, Gambian President Jammeh signed into law legislation that further restricts the rights of LGBT individuals, including life imprisonment for so-called ‘aggravated homosexuality’. Reports have surfaced of arrests, detention, and torture of individuals because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Ned Price, White House Spokesperson

In response to the announcement, Human Rights Campaign spokesperson said…

“This decision is an important first step in sending a clear signal to President Yayha Jammeh and his associates about their human rights record, and they cannot be allowed to trample on the rights of LGBT Gambians.

The United States government should not move forward with business as usual with The Gambia when LGBT people are harassed, imprisoned, tortured, or even killed because of who they are. More can and should be done to hold Jammeh and his associates directly accountable for violating the basic human rights of LGBT Gambians and attacking them for pure political gain.”

Jean Freedberg

Russian Lesbian Stands Strong After Loosing Her Job as A Teacher Due to Being Outed By Hate Group

Its been reported that young Russian woman in St. Petersburg has lost her job as a music teacher for special education students, because of her sexual orientation. This came about after she was outed to her superiors by homophobic activist Timur Isaev – a mouth-breathing troglodyte – who wants to make living in Russia “hell” for all gay people.

According to LGBTI group Coming Out, the St. Petersburg teater is the first to fight her termination and defend her rights. When given the opportunity to voluntarily quit or be fired for violation of Article 81 part 8 of the Labour Code of Russia – “Performing an immoral act by the employee in education that is incompatible with the continuation of such work” – despite holding several distinctions and awards for the excellence in employment, the unnamed woman chose to be fired.

She said:

“Working with children is a part of my soul. All these years I have given myself to the job I loved, nurtured the love of art and music in children. Taking into account the abilities of our children, who have moderate or severe delays in mental development, I have tried to make each lesson interesting, bright, and encouraging.

I was fired because someone thinks my sexual orientation harms children. This is not supported by any law and I have not done anything wrong. I am determined to seek justice to the end!”

Coming Out is providing legal support to the young woman and will seek recognition of the discriminatory nature of her dismissal in court.

Uganda President Urges Parliamentarians Not to Rush Reintroduce Anti-Gay Law

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is urging parliamentarians not to rush to reintroduce a controversial anti-gay law that was invalidated earlier this month, saying the measure is not a priority and could hurt the country’s economic development.

Museveni, who held a meeting Monday with lawmakers from his party, urged parliamentarians “not to cause chaos” by quickly reintroducing the bill, according to Medard Bitekyerezo, a lawmaker who strongly supports the anti-gay measure. He said Museveni formed a committee, to be chaired by Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, to look into the concerns of rights activists who challenged the constitutionality of the law.

“The law may come back with some small modifications, but I can tell you that it will come back.”

Medard Bitekyerezo

The panel of judges on Uganda’s Constitutional did not rule on the substance of the anti-gay measure, which allowed for jail terms of up to life for homosexual offenses, but jettisoned it because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum. The court ruled that there would be no further hearings, leaving the door open for lawmakers to try to reintroduce a similar law or a version of it.

The government-controlled New Vision newspaper reported Tuesday that Museveni warned lawmakers that the bill could hurt the country’s economic development. Museveni asked the parliamentarians to debate the law “without any emotional feelings,” the paper reported.

A Ugandan lawmaker says he has collected signatures from more than 200 parliamentarians who have promised to vote in support of the bill, which has wide support among Ugandans despite Western condemnation of it.

The U.S., the World Bank and some European countries delayed or redirected tens of millions of dollars in funding to Uganda’s government over the anti-gay measure, piling pressure on this East African country that depends on foreign aid to implement about 20 percent of its budget.

Museveni, who has said he supports strong legislation against what he calls the promotion of homosexuality in Africa, is a long-time U.S. ally who has held power here for nearly three decades. But he faces domestic pressure to step down amid growing allegations of official corruption and rights abuses – one reason local analysts believe he is increasingly sensitive to international attention on this East African country of 36 million people.

Watchdog groups said the invalidated anti-gay measure was draconian and unnecessary in a country where homosexuality has long been banned.

A colonial-era law that criminalizes sex acts “against the order of nature” remains in force.

Uganda’s Constitutional Court Could Strike Down the Anti-Homosexuality Act Today

Many LGBT rights supporters inside the Ugandan Constitutional Court this week say there are strong signs that the justices will strike down the Anti-Homosexuality Act when the court reconvenes.

For two days, the Uganda’s Constitutional Court has heard submissions from LGBTI rights activists in order to repeal the anti-gay legislation. In this ruling, the court will judge on whether parliament broke the rules.

That may sound surprising, since the Ugandan political system has seemed stacked against LGBT people since legislation imposing up to a lifetime prison sentence for homosexuality was enacted in a surprise vote on December 20, 2013.

However, the court has pushed forward with hearing the case over the government’s objections during the first day of hearings, which has left LGBT rights supporters feeling confident.

“I am very optimistic that they will strike it down. In my opinion having been in court for the past two days, I think the judges are being very independent.”

Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda

Nicholas Opiyo, one of the attorneys for the group of ten human rights activists, also felt very heartened after the first day of hearings concluded on Wednesday, tweeting…

“The constitutional court adjourns to tomorrow further hearing of the AHA petition in Ug. We believe that the court will find in our favour”

Nicholas Opiyo@nickopiyo

The petitioners also believe by regulating the behaviour of gay and lesbian Ugandans while not regulating the behaviour of heterosexuals, the Act violates article 21 of the constitution. Article 21 ‘guarantees’ equality and freedom of discrimination. Section 13 of the Act, which bans persons ‘promoting’ homosexuality, is also said to violate freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of association.

The Ugandan government is defending the law as constitutional by referring to Article 91, which says parliament has the power to legislate and to create laws for the betterment of society. Under the law, homosexuality is punished with life in prison.

Efforts Against HIV are Deeply Effected by Zimbabwe’s Anti-gay Discrimination

Zimbabwe’s leading gay rights group, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) have noted anti-gay discrimination is having a negative impact on efforts to combat new HIV infections.

“We have a number of our members who are infected with sexually transmitted infections who have visited public hospitals and ended up coming back without being treated because of questions they were asked by nurses. 

Some of our members suffering from STI are taking up to a year before seeking treatment because they are afraid to be asked these embarrassing questions”

GALZ – senior official (anonymous),

HIV were being negatively impacted by homophobic stigma and discrimination by public health care providers.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, leader of Zanu PF, is well-known for his anti-gay views and polices. The 90-year-old said in April that he “pities” the Queen, for having to deal with Britain’s “gay habits”.

Days prior Mugabe threatened to expel any diplomats who mention homosexuality in Zimbabwe. In March, Mugabe defended Uganda’s anti-gay legislation by saying it’s a “human right” for men to marry women. He has also tried to ban gay rights campaigners from operating in this country.

Can You Believe It? LGBTs Flee to Most Homophobic Country on Earth

An LGBT person would have to be pretty desperate to seek asylum in Uganda, a nation that has arguably the toughest anti-gay laws in the world. But incredibly, nearly 100 gay and lesbian refugees are seeking assistance from an NGO in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Many more are in the country illegally.

These refugees are fleeing from oppression in nations like Burundi and war situations such as the one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which, they argue, put them in greater jeopardy than trying to lead a clandestine existence in Uganda.

The risk they are taking is immense: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is still being debated and may soon introduce the death penalty for homosexual acts. It is already a crime to “advocate” gay and lesbian behaviour and LGBTs are regularly sentenced to life imprisonment for daring to be open and free.

Employees of the NGO – which cannot be named in this article – have been threatened and beaten up for their efforts to help the refugees. One such employee, “David”, says that, although it seems odd that gay and lesbian Africans would come to Uganda in search of a better life, it is certainly an improvement on wherever they came from originally. ‘There is a proverb in my country,’ he says. ‘”If you see a rat running from a bush into a hut that is burning, that means it could be hotter in the bush.”‘

One of the asylum-seekers is a trans gentleman who escaped from his native Rwanda after he was grievously assaulted by a gang of policemen. He was permanently disabled by the attack and must use a crutch to this day. Since his arrival in Uganda, he spends as much time as he can close to nature. ‘The trees do not hate me or reject me,’ he says.

Image source

Making a Stand in Chile to Stamp Out Anti-Gay Discrimination

It was announced Tuesday, that Chilean metro stations, Santiago, have joined forces with the Movement for Integration and Homosexual Freedom (MIHF) to raise awareness, acceptance of LGBT people, and stamp out Anti-Gay discrimination.

The campaign, launched by campaign organisers, doesn’t just plan raise awareness for same-sex couples, but also acceptance of disabled people (with one poster portraying a boy with Downs Syndrome), the elderly, and pregnant passengers are also featured on the posters.

“The metro is a public space and a service used by 2.5 million people. As such, the passengers are very diverse, with different needs and different origins. To travel [by metro] is to share a space, to share a moment together, and this is only possible if we respect one another, valuing our differences. We want a better metro, to be better people, a better city.”

Ramon Canas, Santiago Metro general manager

Canas went on to note that Metro Universidad Catolica would be dedicated to murdered gay 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio. Zamudio was attacked and killed  just blocks from the station in 2012.

Chile’s Social Development Minister, Maria Fernanda Villegas, was also in attendance and took to the podium to say she hoped the campaign was a step forward in Chile’s aim to reach developed nation status. She said she hoped the posters would spark positive debate and a dialogue among the public.

“Macroeconomic statistics are good indicators [of development], but they are not the most significant for the people. With a campaign like this, we are advancing and getting at the heart of what it actually means to build a developed country.”

Maria Fernanda Villegas, Chile’s Social Development Minister