Tuesday, October 13, 2009
We at ILGA would like to add our voices to those who mourn the passing of Keith Goddard. GALZ which Keith Goddard directed was the first African LGBT organization to become an ILGA member and many activists will remember Keith’s participation to ILGA campaigns and conferences.
We would like to pass on an anecdote Keith shared with us early last year.
With much respect and love,
Gloria Careaga and Renato Sabbadini.
Co-secretaries generals of ILGA
"Some time ago I found my badge for the July 1992 ILGA Conference in Paris!
It took me back years. I had joined GALZ just three months before in April; and GALZ had joined ILGA in 1991, just a few months after GALZ’s formation.
In those days I was the tour manager for a Zimbabwean music group, Black Umfolosi. In July 1992 we were on tour and based in London. Somehow I heard about the ILGA Conference in Paris and decided to go. I also decided to tell the group and the English promoter the true nature of the event. It was another step in my coming out process, and during the tour I also wrote to my mother and told her I was gay. The group was shocked; the promoter was only concerned about my returning in time. My mother freaked out. Later, Black Umfolosi were to become the first black Zimbabweans to stand up for me publicly as a gay man. My mother is now also proud of my work and even came to the staff Christmas party last year and brought some of her home-baked mince pies. The last time I had been to Paris was in 1979, when I was 18. I bought a porno magazine of naked women! I didn’t know I was gay until a year later. Arriving once more in Paris, I made my way to the address I had been given for the Conference. There was a notice outside saying that the Conference had been moved. I never did discover why, but imagined it had something to do with it being a gay meeting. I went to the new venue and queued to register. I was not on the list, but arrangements were made for me to stay with a young blond man who came to take me home to his very small flat. His English was not very good and my spoken French even worse. The next Conference day I was staggered to see a white American woman wearing a GALZ t-shirt. It turned out that she was a friend of Leigh Price in Zimbabwe, a prominent activist within GALZ. There was also a Ghanaian, or rather I remember him as Ghanaian, as it seems he came from Kenya. He disappeared after the first day or so. Although I was welcomed, I still felt very alone and inadequate. But it was also extremely exciting to be amongst so many lesbian and gay people.
I was very young in the world of LGBT activism, and I didn’t understand most of what was going on. There was a great deal of talk about twinning with groups in the South, and one session in which a heated debate took place between a member of Amnesty International and Julie Dorf, the founder of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). It seemed that AI was not yet at the stage of fully integrating gay and lesbian issues into its work, and Julie was indignant. I remembered this three years later, in 1995, just after GALZ hit the headlines when government banned us from participating in the Zimbabwe International Book Fair. Seemingly out of the blue, I was phoned one night by Casey Kelso of the Amnesty International London office. I felt extremely honoured, almost famous. He phoned for updates every day and kept in regular contact until he left AI and was replaced by Tor-Hugne Olsen. I am not sure if it is true, but I feel that the GALZ 1995 Stonewall remembrance went a long way to properly integrating LGBT issues within Amnesty International’s work.
In Paris I had a long talk with Julie Dorf. At that stage none of us in GALZ had much sense of direction. Our vague intention was to woo government into accepting that, as long as we posed no threat to others, we should be left alone. Our strategy was to emerge gradually and cautiously. She promised that IGLHRC would stay in touch and provide support, which they did from
1996 when Scott Long first contacted us.
The Paris ILGA Conference seems such a long time ago, and things have turned out very differently in Zimbabwe from what I expected. I had no idea at that time that GALZ would become such an important catalyst within the African LGBTI movement and that our President would become the world’s most famous homophobe and throw GALZ into the international limelight.
The last ILGA Conference I went to was in Geneva in 2006. This time there was a large delegation of black LGBT from all over the continent. I was also dead familiar with all the issues.
Looking back, it all seemed wickedly exciting in the early days; sometimes I miss that dangerous thrill and sense of wonder and exploration. I can’t even shock people any more by saying I’m gay: most people already know
Saturday, October 3, 2009
The same people who passed Prop. 8 are now flooding the Governor with calls about Equality California’s legislation authored by Senator Mark Leno that will recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states and countries.
They claim we are trying to circumvent the law, undercut the Constitution and disregard the will of the people.
Once again, they are lying in an attempt to deny us equality.
Help counter their lies and set the record straight. Call the Governor today and express your support for SB 54, the Marriage Recognition and Family Protection Act (Leno, D-San Francisco).
Capitol Office (automated line)Phone: 916-445-2841
Fresno OfficePhone: 559-477-1804Los Angeles OfficePhone: 213-897-0322Riverside OfficePhone: 951-680-6860San Diego OfficePhone: 619-525-4641San Francisco OfficePhone: 415-703-2218
The Marriage Recognition and Family Protection Act would ensure that California recognizes marriages performed out of state in a way that is completely consistent with state law and the Supreme Court ruling upholding Prop. 8. But, that hasn’t stopped the extreme right-wing hate mongers from trying to strip away the rights the Court ruled we were entitled to and deserve.
Please, call the Governor right now to express your support for SB 54 so legally married couples who were married out of state will have their marriages recognized in California. Also, if you haven’t yet, email the Governor using our Action Center.
The bill can be signed or vetoed at any moment. There is no time to waste.
Geoff KorsExecutive DirectorEquality California
BISEXUAL MOVEMENT UGANDA
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Decriminalisation of Homosexuality is not “some kind of democracy”
ILGA is deeply worried and outraged by UN Assembly new President Ali
Abdussalam Treki's failure to consider the protection of the life and safety
of lesbians, gay men, trans, intersex and bisexual people all over the world
a matter of human rights.
In an interview prior to his first address to the UN Assembly in his new
role, Mr Treki declared himself to be “not in favour at all” with reference
to the Statement in favour of the decriminalisation of homosexuality signed
by 66 Countries and read by the Argentinian representative last December at
the General Assembly in New York.
Furthermore, Mr Treki said that the matter referred to by the Statement,
i.e. decriminalisation, was “not acceptable in the majority of the world”
and that “there are some countries that allow that (sic), thinking it is a
kind of democracy”.
Considering that the Statement called for the universal decriminalisation of
homosexuality, one cannot but conclude that the new President of the UN
Assembly is... in favour of criminalising lesbians and gay men, bisexual,
trans and intersex people. The worrying and serious implications of this
attitude, coming from the new head of an institution which is supposed to
regard human rights – all human rights – as the most sacred value, cannot be
We appeal to the representatives of the States which signed the Statement
against criminalisation of homosexuality, but also voted for the election of
Mr Treki in his new position, to demand an explanation to the UN Assembly
President for his words and react consequently.
For more information contact:
Bisexual Movement Uganda.
Friday, September 18, 2009
BISEXUAL MOVEMENT UGANDA
Hillary Clinton received the Four Freedoms Award from the Roosevelt Foundation.
On September 11 (yes) she gave her acceptance speech. She announced a Security Council Resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity!
You can find the full speech here:
This is the passage about LGBT:
These are crimes against humanity. They don’t just harm a single individual, or a single family, or village or group. They shred the fabric that weaves us together as human beings. This criminal outrage against women must be stopped. And we are going to – your government is going to be providing more funding for medical care and counseling and security and legal support to prevent and respond to the Congo’s epidemic of gender-based violence. (Applause.)
But we also must condemn violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (Applause.) In country after country after country, young men and women are persecuted, are singled out, even murdered in cold blood, because of who they love or just based on claims that they are gay. We are starting to track violence against the LGBT community, because where it happens anywhere in the world, the United States must speak out against it and work for its end. (Applause.) Through our annual human rights report, we are documenting human rights abuses against LGBT communities worldwide. And we are seeking out partners at the United Nations such as Brazil, France, Sweden and the Netherlands to help us address these human rights abuses.
We will be pushing for passage of a Security Council resolution on sexual and gender violence at the UN General Assembly, and we hoping many other nations will join this cause.
(starting from 8th paragraph from the bottom)
bisexual movement uganda
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Celebrating Gay Rights: From Canada to Iran
First published Jun 22, 2009
Mario Silva [Bio]
Member of Parliament, Davenport, ON, Liberal Party of Canada.
Pride Week is one of Canada's premier arts and cultural festivals. Internationally, however, this weeklong festival rates not only as one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, but also one of the largest street festivals.
Bringing together individuals, community groups, businesses, sponsors, and families, this festival stands as the celebration of community, as much as the celebration of a particular community group. Despite such a wide audience, these individuals choose each year to come together in a celebration of Toronto, in a celebration of culture, and in a celebration of identity and equality.
While the event itself is always exceptional – thanks to the enormous support, organization, and planning of hundreds of volunteers – it also stands as a reminder of the ongoing struggles against discrimination and persecution that is endured daily by people on the basis of their sexual orientation.
The world must recognize that fundamental human rights cannot be selected based on preference or convenience, they are fundamental, and are consequently inalienable and intrinsic to each and every human life. In such a world, gay rights are human rights and the importance of protecting all human rights is recognized unequivocally.
In countries like Iran, where being convicted of homosexuality can result in capital punishment, intolerance and human rights abuses are rampant. To discredit one human right is to subvert the power of all human rights and no country exists where sexual orientation is criminalized that doesn't also have an abundance of human rights abuse.
The organization, spirit, and self-sacrifice of those individuals within Iran who resist this sexual oppression are indeed heroic. Yet, there is a role, and a responsibility, for the international community to work externally to exert pressure that will finally bring about the recognition everywhere of the fundamental right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual identity.
Such international leadership, while not yet having manifested at the state level (it is an unfortunate reality that few governments have ever considered advocating orientation rights on the international stage), has been shown at the level of the individual.
Leading this year's Toronto Pride parade as International Grand Marshal is Victor Juliet Mukasa. Chairperson of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Victor is a human rights defender for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender liberation in her home country of Uganda as well as being recognized across Africa.
Such advocacy is not merely the dissemination of opinion, but the rewiring of archaic, harmful, and widely unchallenged prejudices regarding sexual identity. It is a new generation of thinking and it is individuals like Victor who have sacrificed much to share this tolerance with the world. Only in this way can a world exist in which people are no longer punished for simply being who they are.This week is the 29th Toronto Pride Week, and I welcome all those interested in attending to come and join the festivities. Let us celebrate tolerance, acceptance, and human rights to
Sunday, April 5, 2009
EMPIRE STATE (NEW YORK STATE) PRIDE AGENDA released the following in an email today:
This morning we learned that Iowa's unanimously decided to strike down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. This is an exciting day for our community and a major step forward in the national (USA) movement towards marriage equality.
and One Iowa have worked tirelessly in the Hawkeye State over the past several years leading up to this decision. We congratulate them on this huge victory and thank them for their commitment to winning equality and working towards justice for LGBT people in Iowa.