By Melanie Nathan, April 22, 2023
In a recent Press Release, Human Rights Campaign noted: “ Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, commended Kansas Governor Laura Kelly for vetoing a total of four bills designed to limit the security, privacy, and dignity of transgender Kansans. In her veto statement, Governor Kelly stated that “companies have made it clear that they are not interested in doing business with states that discriminate against workers and their families.” “I’m focused on the economy. Anyone care to join me?,” Kelly further added.”
Human Rights Campaign HRC, further noted: "More than 300 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoken out to oppose anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being proposed in states across the country. Major employers in tech, manufacturing, hospitality, health care, retail, and other sectors are joining with a unified voice to say discrimination is bad for business and to call on lawmakers to abandon these efforts. Four of the largest U.S. food companies also condemned “dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people,” and the Walton Family Foundation issued a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that recently became law in Arkansas."
But what about Africa? Is corporate silence an anomaly? And do these corporations still earn their great PRO LGBTQI+ ratings - or does that only count on American soil?
The list or corporations that would refuse to do business with Kansas is extensive as noted above. For a long while yet Corporations such as many on that very list have continued to do business in and with countries on the continent of Africa that criminalize LGBTQI+ people. This criminalization, in over 30 African countries, is not where things end for persecuted LGBTQI+ people. It is not only about gay hunts and arrests. These laws serve to license discrimination, horrific violence and extended persecution by state and non-state actors, alike. As we speak, more enhanced laws are being enacted to provide even harsher punitive measures than the existing Draconian penal codes in Uganda and Ghana, with Kenya threatening similar, and Nigeria already having enacted such law.
While these corporations tout DEI on home American soil, they continue to operate under conditions where those who represent as diverse and inclusive in the United States, are those who are criminalized on African soil. So to these Corporations - why threatening to pull out of Kansas and possibly other American states due to anti-LGBTQI_ state legislation, operate in Uganda and other persecuting countries, in silence and complicit. Last month Uganda passed its new KILL THE GAYS BILL, which has now gone back to Parliament for amendment, with Museveni, amidst crazed rhetoric, likely to sign thereafter. This new law makes it impossible for any corporation to tout DEI and operate on Ugandan soil.
THE HRC STATEMENT AND LIST HERE
Here are a sampling of Corporations on Human Rights Campaign list which threatened to withdraw business from Kansas and who are still operating in Uganda, either on Ugandan soil or providing services to UGANDA. All in ominous and complicit silence, while Uganda is in the process of legislating life sentences and death penalties for LGBTQI people who engage in consensual same-sex relations.
APPLE - lest we forget the CEO of APPLE Tim Cook is an openly gay man - criminalized in Uganda as if a bank robber!
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