Why we MUST stand with the #WitsFeesMustFall movement

fist

We know, like we have always known, that we are not the sum total of our oppression. No matter what we have been told, or how we have managed to survive, like Lorde said, despite of and in spite of having all the odds stacked against us on all fronts, we know we are more than anyone said was possible. The #WitsFeesMustFall movement found me in a place of seeking that affirmation, that sign that we are indeed the sum total of our strengths, and that young people have not lost their voices, and we will not be silenced or locked away in the ivory tower of academia and made to believe that this is as good as it gets.

The #WitsFeesMustFall movement is about fees, but it is also about so many other things, that we, black and brown bodies existing in white imperialist structures that continue to push us further out. This movement is about the uncertainty of a future that we were guaranteed would be brighter. Work hard at school, we were told. Your sacrifices will be rewarded our parents were told. Education is the greatest equalizer, they said. It emerges that instead, money, more than anything else, is the greatest equaliser, but only for them who have it, or can beg, borrow or steal it.

The #WitsFeesMustFall movement is about us too. We are not full time lesbians, or gay, bisexual or trans people. We are students and the sisters and brothers of students. We are mothers to our children and our children’s children. We are teachers and domestic workers who save every cent to ensure that our siblings, our neighbours and our families live better lives. We are affected directly by the 10% increase of fees at Wits. We do not exists in bubbles that separate our struggles and oppression from the struggles and oppression of others. For this cause, because often we demand solidarity for our own fights against injustice, we too must show solidarity.

With all our colours and numbers, we should show that an injustice to one is an injustice to all, cliched as it sounds. We should stand side by side with the hundreds of students showing immense courage and resolve to right this gross wrong. We must have stories to tell our futures, of how we showed solidarity, and intersectionality of struggles.

The #WitsFeesMustFall movement is about more than just fees-it’s about all our futures, and what story we wish to tell when we are asked to account: where were we when we showed our strength?

11th Annual Soweto Pride: What will you march for?

SowetoPride

This Saturday, 26th September, the 11th Annual Soweto Pride March takes place. As the date approaches, we are busy with many things. What will I wear? Why hasn’t FNB sent me that SMS telling me I have money in the bank? Who hasn’t paid their share of the stokvel money, wasn’t it due on Monday? Queer Christmas, some people call it. Our one day out of a whole 365 to be seen, heard, and to politically claim spaces where being a lesbian or anyone that’s gender non-conforming in their appearance is dangerous. The truth is that this ‘space’ we claim is literally everywhere, and we claim these spaces daily, as we recognise that our very existence is resistance. Progressive constitution or not, South Africa is still a site of polarised expressions of tolerance and difference. Sometimes these differences are manifested in our gender expression or perceived sexual orientation, but also so are our languages, races and classes. It’s not so easy to belong in South Africa, and when this belonging isn’t created, we are forced to claim it.

As I too wait for that SMS from FNB, I can’t help but wonder what I will march for this Saturday. For maybe the third time today, the #SaveTriangle call flashes on my Twitter newsfeed. The Triangle Project, an organisation that serves many lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and inter-sex women and men living in the Western Cape, is on the verge of being shut down. I visited the Triangle Project a year ago, and borrowed a book from their library. An old book, written by and for lesbian women, looking and linking history and myths around what it meant to be a woman in the world and how that has now changed. I’ve forgotten what the book is called, but some learnings in the book remain. This is my small, almost invisible link to the Triangle Project. So when posts show up on my Facebook and Twitter feed reminding me how and why we need such organisations, I imagine that we know this.

We know the work that civil society and community based organisations such as the Triangle Project and the Forum for the Empowerment of Women do in our communities. We know. We benefit, in so many ways, big and small, from having places and people that we can go to, that we can trust with our truths, and that we can feel safe, feel seen, feel heard.

Across the sea, Blue Stockings, one of very few feminist bookstores and libraries in the United States of America, is also facing the possibility of being shut down. They too, are forced to make people remember why such places exist and why they should not be shut down.

There are organisations that we have seen come and go, leaving vacuums of belonging and safety. Safe spaces are shrinking and they are shrinking fast. When we speak about community, we also know that the work that such organisations do extends beyond us, beyond our social exclusion and queerness. By serving any underserved group or people, these initiatives by default serve the larger and greater good of a whole people.

But, with knowing all this, we still have organisations like the Tringle Project, teetering on the edge of non-existence, and we have to ask how? And why? The #SaveTriangle initiative is a call to action and consciousness for all organisations and people doing work and benefitting from such initiatives to advance gender and sexuality work, and not just in South Africa, but on the continent. Stories told in these places hold up mirrors for other African countries, and Africans living in the diaspora, where we get to see ourselves, our realities and our experiences reflected in conversations and images that the West almost never gets right. We see the layers and the complexities that make up our existence in contexts of varying hostilities.

Conference conversations always throw the ‘what if’ question around our organising and the real possibility of the absence of donor funds. What if one day, we woke up and the global North decided that we are doing well and that we and our governments should take responsibility for the gaping holes in social services and security that necessitate the existence of civil society. We all know that we are a long way away from convincing our governments that we should have safe and harassment-free access to contraceptives and information around safe sex for gender non-conforming people. We are an even longer way away from convincing our leaders that those Victorian era colonial laws against same-sex desire serve no purpose, religious, moral, ethical or otherwise-least of all in ensuring safety and security of citizens. There is much work to be done, to help shift perceptions, myths and beliefs around sexuality and gender, and what it means to own the bodies we are in. Sometimes it feels like this work, these conversations have just began, but we know there are people who blazed the trail and left behind space, publications, organisations, documentation that speaks to their experiences, which we are meant to build on and make stronger.

When we march, we march to remember and we march to never forget. The many gender non-conforming women and men gone too soon, murdered and subjected to the ultimate exclusion-death. We march for the many other African sisters and brothers who cannot and will not come out to claim their rights and freedoms for fear of governments and communities that only serve selfish agendas and tunnel visioned views of who we are and who we can be in the world.

But can we also march for the living? Can we march for the lesbian women who continue to claim and take up spaces that many women are excluded from? Can we consider, the organisations and individuals that give their time and talents to push back walls of intolerance and injustice? Can we be conscious of the financial insecurity that many organisations and organisers live with, and that the time and effort to arrange a Pride march cannot happen without people committed to this work. Can we march for the future? Can we march to strengthen our resolve to transform and transgress archaic ways of thinking about what it means to be a woman or a man, and an African? Can we march to show unity in strength and purpose, to assure each other that we have each other’s backs when tides turn and we have to look to each other for support?

When I march tomorrow, I will march for the future, and for the movements that are re-born with every generation of gender non-conforming women and men, who take up the work of advancing gains over time, and guarding safe spaces for diversity and difference. I will march to honour the rebels and the radicals, that refuse to be silenced and put into neat little boxes, and told ‘to stay in your place’. I will march for the organisations that are hanging in there, in one way or another, and remember that we whom these spaces serve, can be the people that sustain them. If not us, then who?

What will you march for?

-Sheena Magenya

**Views and opinions in this article are entirely of the author and do not reflect on the positions and politics of the Coalition of African Lesbians

Transformation, logic, and invasion of neo-liberalism in advocacy spaces: Interview with MP Jessie Kabwila-Kapasula, Fearless Feminist and Women Human Rights Defender

Interview with Malawi MP Jessie Kabwila at the 59th CSW meeting.

Interview with Malawi MP Jessie Kabwila at the 59th CSW meeting.

CAL: Are you a feminist?

JKK: Oh yes I am.  My name is Jessie Kabwila. I am the Publicity Secretary for the Malawi Congress Party, the main opposition in Malawi, I am also chair for the women’s caucus, I am a Member of Parliament for Salima North West, I’m a feminist, proudly feminist and I have been one since I knew who I was.

CAL: What influences your radical position on sexual reproductive health and rights in Malawi?

JKK: I would say it’s lived experience, what I have been through in my life and more importantly what research has shown. As an academic I usually take a position based on what research is saying. I have never understood why anybody would want to lie that being gay, transgendered or intersex is something that is not African, it’s just not true. I’ve done that kind of research myself, where I went into Malawi, to remote areas, places where people haven’t travelled. People there have never been to the US, never been to the UK, they’re just being Malawian, and I have met people who have been living; a-man and a man, sixty-four years old, and they have never been out of the country. And what struck me is they love each other. The main problem with the LGBTI discourse is that it is being discussed predominantly as a sex thing. It should rather be about people and how they love each other. It’s not as if it’s just a bunch of people who sleep with each other every day, no. So maybe the question should be, do people love differently in Africa? And I think love has no passport. Love is love. Some people love other people. Other people don’t love someone else. Just like sex, there are people who don’t have sex, are we going to arrest everybody, to say, look, you have private parts, what are you doing with them? No. As far as I’m concerned, I think it’s much ado about nothing. I think there’s this obsession to control people and what they are doing. Foucault talked about it very well in The History of Sexuality. To me Malawi is the same as someone being in chains and we lock the door and we say ‘why are you not coming out?’. Maybe it’s because you locked the door? I feel so passionate about this because I see how it is linked to HIV prevention. I think if people are hiding who cannot say that they are going to get condoms and they are going to get medication, we should understand how stigma is more of a killer than taking a knife and killing someone, because we are stopping them from being who they are. And that is impacting access to service delivery.

CAL: Why is the CSW not a transformative space for sexual reproductive health and rights 20 years after the Beijing Platform?

JKK: Because, like many institutions it has been invaded by neo-liberalism. This thing of wanting to make everybody happy. How was a statement that was not debated or consulted passed? It doesn’t make any sense and to tell the truth it’s making all this a farce. We can’t talk about transformation when there is so much silence of logic. Until and when the CSW embraces difference and we are not  afraid to differ, we will not realise that it is in-between difference that actually the truth lies. We have black, white, blue and whatever colour, it is therein that we find out that we have diversity. I have never seen so many countries in the world agree in minutes. We spent much more time watching a game of football than we do ratifying a political statement-it doesn’t make any sense.

CAL: How can we push for change in language at the CSW spaces?

JKK: To be honest with you, I don’t think the issue of language is going to be won in such spaces. I believe progressive, radical people, these are not spaces for us. Those who want to ‘kick some ass’, the place is not here.

Sometimes the neo-liberal framework of discussion, leaves someone with no choice but to be very radical, in order to be heard. The real question is, can we do business-unusual, when we are behaving business-as-usual?

I don’t think this is going to bring back our girls in Nigeria, I don’t think that Boko Haram is going to be a friend of women because of this [CSW process]. If say for example, we all descended on Nigeria and demanded actions to bring the girls back, they would know that something has gone seriously wrong. I think these meetings confirm the way institutions have been invaded by capitalism and neo-liberalism, all these ‘isms’ that make us say we are fine in the morning when we are not.

*Edited for tense and shortened. E&OE.

GUIDELINES TO NATIONAL, REGIONAL, AND INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS ON HOW TO OFFER SUPPORT NOW THAT THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY LAW HAS BEEN ASSENTED TO

solidarity Uganda

The Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRCL) would like to thank you for all the support you have accorded the people of Uganda in its fight against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (the Bill) over the years. We specifically thank you for the support since the Parliament of Uganda passed the Bill on 20th December 2013.

Unfortunately, despite the intensive work that has been done since 2009 to stop the passage of this draconian bill into law, President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta of the Republic of Uganda on Monday 24th February 2014 signed the Bill into Law. We now have to work with the reality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act (2014).

These guidelines are intended to all our partners on how to support the CSCHRCL in this new context:
1. Speaking out: It is very critical that we continue to speak out against the law and its implications in terms of security of the LGBTI community, their allies, and the general implications of the Act on the work around public health and human rights in general.
Important to Note: In all communication about the impact of the law, please refer to the shrinking and deteriorating policy space that civil society is experiencing; not only about this human rights issue, but about “mainstream” human rights as well: Uganda’s track record is bad, and is getting worse, and these issues are related. In this regard please also be aware of the Anti-Pornography Act and the Public Order Management Act when discussing the situation of civil society activists in Uganda.

2. World Wide demonstrations: We call upon all partners, friends and allies to organize demonstrations in different cities around the world now as this Act is set to have detrimental effects for all of us. We all MUST continue to speak out. These could include demonstrations at the Ugandan embassy in our country, or asking your place of worship to
organize a vigil.
3. Call on Multinational companies that have businesses in Uganda to go public about their concerns on the Act and their future economic engagements in Uganda: For example Heneiken, KLM, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Barclays Bank, and other companies with important interests in Uganda and that already respect and value LGBT rights in their own internal policies, should note the risk that these laws pose for the safety of their own employees, as well as the impact on their brand image of continuing to do business in Uganda.
4. Issue statements condemning the passage of the Bill into Law: We need the Government to know that they shall not get away with their actions. These statements should reflect the other human rights violations in the country, not just about LGBTI rights. Please always alert us to any such statements, whichever language they are written in, such that we may either post them on our website (ugandans4rights.org) or a link to your website.
5. The question of cutting Donor AID has arisen: Our position on this is very clear. We do not support General Aid Cuts to Uganda. We do not want the people of Uganda to suffer because of the unfortunate Political choices of our government. However, we support Strategic Aid Cuts to specific sectors, such as the Dutch Government’s decision to withdraw funding from the Justice Sector. We encourage urgent review of Aid to organizations and government institutions that have failed to demonstrate respect for Human Rights and those that have been actively supporting this bill. We DO NOT support cuts in support to NGO’s and other civil society institutions that offer life saving health services or other important social services to the People of Uganda.
6. Partners should expand investment in funding for service delivery and advocacy in defiance of the law, targeting LGBT populations, to attempt to mitigate the harmful impact this law will have on access to services, and on human rights.
7. We encourage you to lobby your Government’s Immigration Services to adjust their asylum policy with regard to LGBTI persons from Uganda, Nigeria, Russia, Cameroun and other countries in which levels of state-sponsored homophobia are rapidly rising.
8. We further request that you send us information on which organizations can be helpful in assisting the individuals who are at risk if the situation gets worse and they have to get out of the country and seek asylum or relocation elsewhere.
9. We request you to prepare for Urgent Actions given that LGBTI people or people doing work around LGBTI rights are increasingly liable to being arrested. Urgent actions could include sending messages to the Uganda Government to protest such arrests, use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, to raise awareness that arrests have happened, contacting your own embassies in Uganda to voice your concerns.
10. Call for your governments to issue travel advisories on Uganda, and remind them that they have a duty to protect and therefore should take responsibility for alerting their own LGBTI citizens to the risks of traveling to Uganda.
11. Contact travel companies to urge them to also routinely issue such travel advisories to their customers (on the same principle that tobacco products must have a health warning visibly displayed, so flights and package holidays should have warnings of the risks of traveling to Uganda!)
12. Get more foreign leaders in foreign governments to say something about the Act as they have not come out strongly as it was expected.
13. Get celebrities to say something against the Act. We need more voices that Ugandans recognize and revere socially to speak out against this Law.
14. Get more international Aid groups especially those responding to HIV/AIDS work to say something for example: USAID, Pepfar, CDC, Global fund and others.
15. Use your influence and work or networks to encourage and Pressure more African leaders to speak out against the rising levels of homophobia through state sanctioned Anti Gay laws.
16. Engage with any non-LGBTI partner organizations in Uganda that you may collaborate with or whom you fund to issue statements condemning the passage of the AHB and its implications to the work of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Remind them that this Bill is going to further shrink NGO spaces and is bound to affect the work they are doing.
17. Draw international public attention to issues such as corruption, human trafficking, nodding disease in northern Uganda, land-grabbing, as well as the suppression of media freedom and civil society space, the Public Order Management Act so that attention shifts to where it properly belongs; in the best interests of the country’s population as a whole. We need to step up public criticism to other negative trends in Uganda and remind the world that this Act is being used as a tool to divert attention from other pertinent issues that Ugandans are facing.
18. Get religious leaders of all faiths (Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Protestant, Seventh Day Adventists, Quakers, etc.) to issue statements encouraging tolerance and respect for human rights for all Ugandans and Africans.
19. Call for your governments to ‘recall’ ambassadors back to their respective Capitals for at least one week for strategic consultations on how to move forward when dealing with Uganda and Nigeria in regards to the two draconian laws. This will give the Ugandan government food for thought.
20. Contribute physical, financial, or technical support to the Coalition and the LGBTI community as well as the exposed Human Rights Defenders working on LGBTI rights who are likely to begin to be arrested and charged or otherwise persecuted. Financial and technical support for challenging the Act in the Constitutional Court and the East African Court of Justice.

For More information Contact:
Jeffrey Ogwaro : jogwaro@gmail.com /ahbcoalition.coordinator@gmail.com Tel: +256 782176069
Clare Byarugaba: clarebyaru@gmail.com /ahbcoalition.coordinator@gmail.com Tel:+256 774068663
Kasha Jacqueline: jnkasha@gmail.com Tel: +256 772463161
Frank Mugisha: frankmugisha@gmail.com Tel: +256 772616062
Pep Julian Onziema: onziema@gmail.com + Te: +25 772370674

Solidarity Statement from the Coalition of African Lesbians with Ugandan LGBT on the Global Day of Action Against the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill

ProtestPicStatement of Solidarity with LGBT people of Uganda

Johannesburg – South Africa

10 February 2014

The Coalition of Africa Lesbians (CAL) and its allies condemn in the strongest terms the Ugandan parliament for passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB). It is the responsibility of the Ugandan government to respect, promote, protect and fulfil all human rights of all people.  The passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill went ahead without quorum and in the absence of prior mandatory inclusion on the Parliament Order Paper.

The combination of the historical failure of the Ugandan government to respect, protect and promote human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression and the news of the passing of this Bill has had the effect of aggravating the human rights situation of people who are gender non-conforming and those who engage in same sex relations.  Already, reports indicate that since the passing of the Bill, there have been increased levels of violation and abuse of the rights of people who are gender non-conforming and those who engage in same sex relations in Uganda. If the President signs this Bill into law, the gains achieved towards the HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, access to health services and doctor-patient confidentiality, will all be eroded and eventually lost as people affected by the legislation will not seek services for fear of prosecution.

After the passing of the Bill, it was sent to President Museveni for signature, which would bring the Bill into force as an Act of Parliament.

Should the President sign the Bill, far reaching and wide ranging oppressions of many Ugandans will be legitimized:

•             The prohibition of consensual same sex acts between adults with a prescription of a penalty of life imprisonment for so-called repeat offenders

•             A requirement that  “persons in authority, including persons exercising religious or social authority, report offenses under the Act within twenty four hours or else face imprisonment for three years or a fine.”

Essentially, the Bill violates the rights of an already marginalized group as well as curtailing the rights of those who defend human rights related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

Just one day before the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed, the Ugandan parliament passed the controversial Anti-Pornography Bill purportedly as a means of curbing sexual crimes against women and children including rape, child molestation and incest. Instead, the law introduces serious constraints on the autonomy of women over their bodies and lives – outlaws particular forms of dress that are seen to encourage sexual excitement or any indecent act or behaviour tending to corrupt morals, among other things.

The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) urges President Museveni not to sign both bills and to act in accordance with the responsibility to protect all human rights of all people in keeping with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which Uganda is party to. We further draw the attention of the President to the Statement by the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, Mrs Reine Alapini-Gansou, where she warns in a statement issued on 5 February 2014, in reference to the recently passed Nigerian Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, about the consequences laws such as these may have on sexual minorities who are already vulnerable as a result of social prejudice.

We further urge all states, the Ugandan National Human Rights Institution and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to

1.            Condemn the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of Uganda and the Anti-Pornography Bills

2.            Call for the immediate scrapping of the Bills

3.            Persuade the Ugandan President and government to establish and sustain a constructive human rights dialogue with groups of people affected by the legislation and who are gender non-conforming and those who engage in same sex relations and all women.

The Coalition of African Lesbians also calls on all artists, leaders and human rights defenders in Africa to publically denounce both Ugandan laws, the Nigerian law and any other national legislation along these lines.

 For more information, please contact Dawn Cavanagh

Email: dawn@cal.org.za

Landline:  +27-11-403 0004/7/114/158

Cell: 071 104 1718

Issued on behalf of Forum for the Empowerment of Women, Wits Youth Group, Uthingo, Vutha LGBT, Ekhuruleni Pride Organising Committee, Thusa Tshireletso, Trendsetters, Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action, Johannesburg People’s Pride, the One in Nine Campaign and the 30 organisational members of the Coalition of African Lesbians in 19 countries in Africa.

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Suggested Actions in Solidarity with Ugandans and Africans Against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

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Photo courtesy of rawascotland.org.uk

Now that you know why we need to ‘ACT’, Here is ‘Bucket list’ of the actions you can take on 10th February 2014 to support the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex(LGBTI) Persons at Risk in Uganda:
1. Worldwide demonstrations. We call upon all partners, friends and allies to organize worldwide demonstrations in different cities around the world on the (10th February 2014) to show solidarity with Ugandan LGBT community and to bring attention this cause to Uganda. You can do this at a Ugandan embassy or at any place of significance to you.
2. Issue statements condemning the passage of the Bill and call on the President NOT to sign it into law, It is also important to continue to remind Ugandans and our leaders to uphold Human Rights for all people.
3. Wear a t-shirt, a bracelet, a badge, Carry a poster with a message of solidarity for the LGBT community in Uganda etc. Wear these items to work, at home, wherever you are. Make sure to let us know that you have done this, Tweet the message or picture to the following handles: @Ugandans4rights. Hashtags: #AHBGlobaldayofaction , #Love4UgandanLGBTI #stopAHB , Post on our face book page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1393461854247237/?context=create&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming , or simply email us and let us know.
4. Deliver Petitions with signatures to a significant place or to a significant person and or people to show that we have numbers that oppose this bill.
5. Hold prayer vigils to show what a ‘dark day’ it is for Human Rights and to call upon ‘Devine Intervention’. We need to mourn the loss of human rights.
6. Write to your political leader, your religious leader, your opinion leader to encourage them to speak out against the bill. We need help to end this targeted attack on the rights of LGBT persons in Uganda.
7. Twitter blast– The idea is to send as many tweets on that day to the prime minister, Parliament, and president’s office. This can be done between 9am and 12am-Ugandan time. With one simple message: ‘Don’t Prosecute; Protect LGBT Ugandans: The world is watching’ Twitter handles are:

Prime Minister:@AmamaMbabazi

Parliament of Uganda:@Parliament_UG

President’s office:@StateHouseUg

8. Use social media to speak out against the bill on that day. Write a solidarity message: Injustice anywhere is Injustice everywhere: I Stand in Solidarity with LGBTI community in Uganda. I stand on the side of Human Rights. I say NO to the Anti-Gay Bill.

Things to remember: -Make sure you have called a media house you work with to cover your event or show of solidarity, we need Uganda, Africa and the whole world to know that we are visible, and to know that Human Rights are Universal and Inherent for all Human Beings. –Plan your actions between 9am and 12am Ugandan time. Choose an Action that best suits you. Reach out to your family members, your co-worker, your friend, your partner; Make sure they join you in speaking out for Human Rights and against the bill.
Thank You for the continued Solidarity!
Civil Society

10th February 2014: GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL IN THE UGANDAN PARLIAMENT

CALL TO ACTION: 10th February 2014
URGENT CALL FOR SOLIDARITY AFTER THE RECENT PASSAGE OF THE ANTI HOMOSEXUALITY BILL IN THE UGANDAN PARLIAMENT.

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Photo courtesy of ncadc.org.uk

Background:
On 20th December 2013, The Lesbian and Gay Bisexual Transgender Community in Uganda woke up to the grim news that the Anti Homosexuality bill, which had been shelved at the end of 2012 had been passed by Parliament. The bill was passed without Quorum and without Prior mandatory inclusion on the Parliament Order Paper. The bill, if passed into law will be a disaster to the Human Rights of LGBT people, a disaster to public health and the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Recent reports in the national and International Media have indicated that the President ‘will not sign’ the bill and hence it is generally believed that the bill is no longer a threat.
We would like to reiterate that this bill is still a huge threat and a treasure to the majority of Ugandans.
It is also worth to note that the power of ascension of a bill doesn’t lay primarily with the President of Uganda. The Parliament of Uganda can also pass the bill into law!
The Constitution provides that the president shall within 30 days after a bill is presented to him/her either:-
• Assent to the bill
• Return the bill to parliament with a request that the bill or a particular provision of it be reconsidered by parliament; or
• Notify the speaker in writing about the decision
The bill may be reconsidered and then presented for the president’s approval. However it may become law without the president’s assent if he/she returns it to parliament two times. It should have the support of at least two-thirds of all MPs.

Why the Day of Action?
If we remain silent, we shall suffer at the hands of Ugandan leaders that have no respect for Human Rights! Silence will not protect us!! We need to speak out against Injustice; We need to speak out FOR Human Rights! We need to speak out against the Anti Homosexuality Bill. We need you to Let Uganda know, through this Day of Action, that the world is watching. We Must demand Justice and respect for Human Rights for all Ugandans.

Reach out to your family, your co-worker, your friend, your partner; Make sure they join you in speaking out for Human Rights.

Thanks You for the Solidarity!

Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law

First they came for the Jews. I was silent. I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists. I was silent. I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists. I was silent. I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me. There was no one left to speak for me.Martin Niemoller