HATE NO MORE CAMPAIGN 2011
For Immediate release
10th August 2011
Over the years, we have been harassed, cajoled, insulted, discriminated against and referred to as beasts called inhuman, insane, sick, immoral and not upright thinking members of society.
We have been dismissed from schools, homes, jobs, churches, and other places. We are taunted on streets, at home, in churches and all social places because of our sexual orientation and/or gender identity. In recent years there have been arrests of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender [LGBT) people. We live in constant fear and have to hide behind masks to protect our identities. Those that are outside the masks have to face injustices that society points at them.
The Penal Code is interpreted as criminalizing homosexuality and homosexual individuals. Although it does not mention sex between women, lesbians face it as rough as gay men trying to exist freely alongside heterosexuals. The Anti Homosexuality Bill in 2009 has made it hard for LGBT people to live happily in Uganda. Reported cases of deaths and rape due to media witch hunt, wide spread homophobia through religious leaders and abuse of those in power to marginalize sexual minorities.
Homosexuals have for long been suppressed. We are economically and socially underpowered. There are increased deaths among the LGBTI people from suicide, resulting from stigmatization and from HIV/AIDS and the like, it would lead you further into trouble if for instance you suffered from an STD and presented your partner as someone of your sex.
All around us are homophobic comments, actions and reports. This homophobia is given voice by the press, institutionalized by the Penal Code and given strength by politicians and religious leaders.
Early this year we lost a comrade, murdered in cold blood. David Kato stood out of the darkness to demand fair treatment and equality for fellow Homosexuals and Transgenders, the price he paid to fight for a safe place in Uganda was losing his life.
Months after suffering the loss of David, the LGBT community suffered the loss of Samuel Odhiambo who committed suicide because he couldn’t take the misery any more. These are just a few of the cases of injustices that the LGBT community has got to deal with.
We are not asking for extra rights, we are not asking for any kind of special treatment, but we are demanding for the rights enjoyed by the rest of the citizens of Uganda.
We are demanding that our existence is respected, and not subject us to degrading inhuman treatment.
We are demanding that unfair laws be repealed
We are demanding that those that spread homophobia be held accountable
We are demanding that you stop expelling us from schools, disowning us from our families
We are demanding that you include us in the National HIV/AIDS programs and other empowering programs.
We demand because our rights are inherent and are enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
We are part of this society we are your children, doctors, employees, parents to mention a few this is our country, we are Ugandans and Uganda belongs to all of us.
Join us in this fight to end Hatred towards Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and transgender people in Uganda. We are part of the development of this country. Discriminating us will not yield positive developments. This Campaign is to influence positive legislation through dialogue with policy makers, diplomatic missions, health service providers and the general community through the media. We are counting on an educated and enlightened media, working to inform the public not with myths and false stories, but with truths, to take this message of NO MORE HATE to the people of this country
Today as Freedom and Roam Uganda, the entire Human Rights and LGBT community launch the HATE NO MORE Campaign, we want to also remind you that we are not here to recruit anyone into becoming a homosexual, we DONT RECRUIT, we have NEVER RECRUITED and we SHALL never RECRUIT. We only want to remind you that DISCRIMINATION RETARDS DEVELOPMENT.
We would also like to thank the Global Fund for Women, The Thiel Foundation and the Human Rights Foundation for supporting us in this campaign to end Hatred against LGBT people in Uganda.
We are therefore calling on all Ugandans to join us in this campaign to create a safe space for fellow brothers and sisters of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender community
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY