Mozambique decriminalises gay and lesbian relationships

lambda-website-imageMozambique has decriminalized homosexuality in its new penal code, making it one of a few African countries where same-sex relationships are legal.

The revised code drops a colonial-era clause outlawing “vices against nature”. There were no prosecutions under that clause but rights activists have said this change is a symbolic victory.

It comes as other African countries have moved to tighten anti-gay laws. In Nigeria, a law that came into force last year banned same-sex public displays of affection and introduced a possible 14-year prison sentence for gay sex. A study released on Tuesday found that 87% of Nigerians supported a ban on same-sex relations.

In Uganda, the government has pledged to introduce a new restrictive law after the last law which criminalized homosexuality was successfully challenged in the constitutional court. Continue reading

May The Kite And Eagle Perch

epa03341640 Gay and lesbian activists attend Uganda's first gay pride parade and celebration at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Kampala, Uganda, 04 August 2012. Both male and female homosexual activity is illegal in Uganda. The parade took place the day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised activists who opposed a tough draft law in Uganda targeting gays and lesbians. She called them an inspiration for others struggling to secure equal rights around the world.  EPA/RACHEL ADAMS

Written by Kambili Chimalu, and originally published on Bellanaija.com

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A lot of gay Nigerians are increasingly stepping into the limelight to campaign for their rights as human beings deserving of respect and peace of mind in their own country. This is a noble and worthwhile pursuit, but it has led a lot of Nigerians to believe (and verbalize) that those who campaign for gay rights are trying to force some sort of “gay agenda” down their throats.

Nigeria, as it is today, is a very dangerous place for anyone suspected of being gay. People may like to deny this, but being gay in Nigeria is tantamount to dousing yourself in fuel and dancing around a bonfire. It is a death sentence, both in the literal and civic sense. The government has enshrined the persecution of gay people and their supporters in law that exposing yourself as a gay individual is simply “asking for it.” Nigerians cheered and openly displayed their bigotry when the law against same-sex marriage was passed. Would a gay person highlighting the injustice of that constitute as “shoving it down other people’s throats?” Continue reading

Germany’s Klaus Burkart Becomes Mr Gay World 2015

Mr Gay World 2015Here he comes, Mr. Gay World!

The muscular 21-year-old from Germany, Klaus Burkart, is this year’s winner of the all-male competition held in South Africa.

The big win for Burkart comes before contenders from Australia, Cuba, Iceland and even Zambia, where homosexuality is considered illegal.

Similar to high profile beauty pageants such as Miss Universe, Gay World tested the fashion sense and athletic ability of this year’s 21 finalists. But there’s bigger issues afoot than just their looks — like gay rights. Continue reading

‘I Want To Own My Story.’ – Bisi Alimi

celebs 53In December last year, Bisi Alimi joined other global LGBT activists to speak at the New York City public library to mark 2014 Human Rights. His talk titled “My name is Bisi Alimi and I am not a victim” has been adjudged as one of the most moving talks of the day.

The talk was released a couple of days ago, and because I believe his talk will help support others, mostly Africa LGBT people who might be struggling with the challenges they are facing, I had to share.

Check out the video of Bisi’s talk below.

What Bisi Alimi Has To Say About The United States’ Special Envoy for LGBT Human Rights

Randy-Berry-named-first-ever-LGBT-rights-envoyIn a piece titled ‘Why I Oppose the United States’ Special Envoy for LGBT Human Rights’ which was originally published on the dailybeast.com, Nigerian gay activist Bisi Alimi states his stance on the recent appointment of Randy Berry as Special Envoy for gay rights.

Read below.

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The appointment of Randy Berry as Special Envoy for LGBT Human Rights drew praise from U.S. LGBT activists. Those of us outside the U.S. are less enthusiastic.

In February, the U.S. State Department announced that longtime diplomat Randy Berry would be appointed as the first Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons to help eliminate violence and discrimination against LGBT people worldwide. This appointment has been widely applauded in the United States, but many of us outside the U.S. are concerned that it may be more symbolic than substantive—and that, in fact, the symbol may be a negative one.

To be sure, the Obama administration has been the most pro-LGBT in American history. Most recently, in his 2015 State of the Union speech, Obama became the first president to say the word ‘transgender’ at a high-profile event. He signed an executive order last summer barring government contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees. LGBT health care disparities were addressed under his Affordable Care Act. Continue reading

LGBT Leaders From Some Homophobic Nations Write Letter To President Obama

obama-equalityGay rights leaders in some of the most antigay countries around the world have joined in writing a letter to President Obama asking him to be more consistent in how he deals with homophobia as a humanitarian world issue.

Kenya’s Eric Gitari and The Gambia’s Pasamba Jow are among those urging the president to take a similar approach as he has in Ugandan politics, where he restricted the bilateral relations of the US and Uganda based on the latter’s anti-homosexual legislation.

‘Mr. President, we ask that the United States make clear, even now, that steps will be taken to respond, without fail, in any country where governments attack us and deny our rights,” they write.

Below is the full letter: Continue reading

MY RIGHTS, HIS RIGHTS

human_rights_dayI’ve read a lot of Kito stories on this blog to know that some human beings are scum. The last Kito story particularly gave me chills, and I contacted a friend to discuss it, because I couldn’t fathom how that was possible. Your own ‘Kind’ actually being the architect of your misfortune? It seemed hard to accept. My friend said a lot of things, including the one that stuck: “Human beings are scum.”

I like to think he is wrong but deep down I know he is right. We are scum, because we choose to be. We are scum because we fail to treat each other right. We are scum because we don’t see where our right ends and the other begins. The comments section of that last Kito story however gave me hope; hope that there is a way, maybe just a little keyhole of a way, but a way nonetheless.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! It’s simple and hard at the same time. First of all, here are your BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS as stipulated by the United Nations: Continue reading

Botswana gay rights group wins landmark case

_78999557_dsc_0373_2A gay and lesbian group in Botswana has won a landmark legal case in the country’s High Court, allowing it to be officially registered.

The judge ruled that the government had acted unconstitutionally in blocking the group, Legabibo.

“I am happy with the judgement – it has sent a message to the government, the entire region and Africa,” the group’s Caine Youngman told the BBC.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Botswana, as in many African countries. The Botswana Penal Code, based on old English law, describes homosexual acts as offences against morality, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

“We are overjoyed at the outcome of the case. Lesbians, gays and bisexuals have long strived to be able to form an organisation which can support them and be their voice on matters that affect them,” said Mr Youngman.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which often handles human rights cases across the region, said the ruling could have bigger implications.

“The judgment emphasises the importance of the rights to freedom of expressions, association and assembly in a democracy,” said SALC’s Anneke Meerkotter in a statement. “Importantly, the judgment emphasises that it is not a crime to be homosexual or attracted to someone of the same sex. The court finding is important not just for activists in Botswana but throughout Africa.”

High court in Nigeria tosses lawsuit challenging anti-gay law

nigeria-demo-for-campaign-page_originalThe Federal High Court of Nigeria has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013, contending that the plaintiff did not have legal standing because he is straight and not harmed by the law.

Human rights activists said that the ruling, while disappointing, actually opens the door for a new legal action against the anti-gay law. Nigeria, one of the world’s most populous nations, is also one of the worst places on Earth for LGBT rights.

Teriah Joseph Ebah, 42, a straight Nigerian who has lived in the UK for more than a decade and has a wife and children, sued the Nigerian government after the strict anti-gay law was signed into law. Ebah and his attorney argued that the law is discriminatory and criminalizes all things gay and punishes ordinary people who do not report the gays.

Oh well, they tried. Hopefully, there’ll come forward a plaintiff (you, him, her and me) who has the appropriate legal standing to challenge the law.