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Is Africa Poised to Exterminate Gays Part 1

By Melanie Nathan, August 20, 2023, Country Conditions Expert Witness for LGBTQI+ asylum seekers fro 20 African countries

I know this header sounds extreme. Let us face reality and look at it this way: Since Uganda passed its Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, (AHA23) otherwise known as "The Kill the Gays Bill", President Museveni, who assented to it, making it law, brashly called on all African countries to lead the world in the eradication of homosexuality. They are obliging! Politicians find that extreme anti-homosexuality policy is the magical key to bind all who may otherwise be divided by political, tribal, or religious differences. Scapegoating gays serves as a uniting issue, surmounting all such barriers.

Over ten years ago, the U.S. Christian Evangelicals saw African soil as fertile and ripe for their export of homophobia. They were losing ground in the west. Gays were getting rights! The Evangelicals made a conscious decision to target African countries to spread their anti-homosexuality message, knowing they could court parliamentarians with the mighty dollar. This ongoing bombardment, financed to the tune of over $50Million U.S. dollars, is now rendering results. This exploit has kept them busy and recently culminated in Sharon Slater's attendance, with Uganda's First Lady, Janet Museveni, at the first African Regional Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Family Values, in Entebbe, where Parliamentarians were called upon to weaponize access to Private Member Bills across the continent. A week later Uganda's parliamentarians passed the Kill the Gays Bill in Uganda, and so the proof of the impact of America's Evangelicals, glared.

Sharon Slater, President of FAMILY WATCH INTERNATIONAL and Chair of the United Nations Family Caucus, is viciously opposed to same-sex relations and rights. So all it took was Slater's hateful shove to be the cream on top of the years of Evangelical mission, for Uganda to ensure 'The Kill the Gays Bill' is fully enacted - and then the cherry atop is Museveni's call for genocide: - "“Africa should provide the lead to save the world from this degeneration and decadence, which is really very dangerous for humanity. If people of opposite sex [sic] stop appreciating one another then how will the human race be propagated?” (Guardian Article.)

Prior to Uganda passing the Act, in preceding years Nigeria passed the onerous SSMPA (Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2013), and in the past couple years including most recently, Kenya, Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Ghana have introduced similar legislation. Zambia is powder keg, teetering on even harsher laws, while refusing to register LGBTQI refugees. Ethiopia and Burundi are gay hunting and arresting LGBTI+ people, and countries like Cameroon and Tanzania have also upped the attacks on LGBTQI+ community.

Even the countries that have evolved into the more progressive realm, though few and far between, are precarious. South Africa has been the only hope. It is the only country on the Continent where the constitution fully entrenches equal rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Yet, now it seems tenuous: An horrifically frightening sign of the current fragility on the Continent, is the fact that the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who back in 2019 welcomed the international delegates competing in Mr Gay World 2019 in Cape Town, just this month attended was scheduled to attend and participate in a conference funded by the American LGBTIQ+ hate group Family Watch International, raising concerns among human rights groups. The African Bar Association’s annual conference, held in collaboration with the University of South Africa (UNISA) from August 6 to 10 in Pretoria, became a topic of concern due to its co-sponsorship by Family Watch International, an Arizona-based organization designated as an extremist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (As reported by Mamba Online). This shows the extent of the inroad as tentacled by these hate groups.

Botswana's decriminalized was challenged but they held on and that remains status quo, though fragile.

There was also hope in the support Julius Malema, South African opposition Parliamentarian from the EFF who had platformed a protest against the Ugandan Kill the Gays Bill, and then soon thereafter, this huge let down: The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by MP Julius Malema invited viciously anti-gay Kenyan speaker, Professor Patrick Lumbumba, who commended Museveni for Uganda's Kill the Gays Bill, to keynote the tenth anniversary celebration of the EFF party, rendering his previous support for LGBTQI+ South Africans and the continent, severely diminished. How does one reconcile support of gay rights on the continent with providing invitations for critical events to a homophobe to keynote?

It is important to note that the current anti-gay penal codes and the newer harsher legislation, whether enacted or not, all serve to enhance and heighten the anti-LGBTQI+ fervor and hence violence. The proof of this is in the current uptick of violent incidents: At African Human Rights Coalition we receive desperate pleas for help, everyday from several countries across the African continent, to include the over thirty that criminalize LGBTQI+ people and also from those countries which do not have overt criminalizing codes.

In Uganda gays, lesbians, bisexual and trans people are being hunted. Many are hiding in rooms across the country, seeking to flee the country. Just this week AHRC assisted in 3 emergency extractions out of the country, including some high profile members of Ugandan society.

Security forces in Ethiopia are cracking down on hotels, bars and restaurants in the capital Addis Ababa where gay sexual activity is alleged to take place.

Rights groups say the LGBT community in Ethiopia remains underground because LGBT people face high levels of discrimination and fear violence and ostracism if their identities are discovered. This is the story across the continent as the harsher legislation in several countries pose criminal penalties for so called "promotion" of homosexuality. Making it impossible for organizations to operate.

The Addis Ababa Peace and Tranquillity Administration Bureau, a government body, said it was taking action “against institutions where homosexual acts are carried out” following tip-offs from the public, and had already raided a guest house in the city, according to reporting by Ethiopia’s state news agency ENA. All of this has little chance of sanctions or back door negotiations immediately impacting the revocation of these laws or a change in the climate, as African leaders dig their heels in, double down and assert dicta of sovereignty as their excuse to abuse basic human rights. The only chance at change will an all African solution together with a mix of boycotts and isolation. Yet the latter delivers Africa to China and Russia. An all African solution will require education, understanding and acceptance by communities of the fact that it was white man colonization that brought anti-homosexuality, and a very long time. Religion from the West that exported homophobia is clearly a significant ongoing issue, and yet we see nothing from the affirming churches to counteract their Evangelical counterparts. It is the West that continues to bring homophobia, and not homosexuality as is touted by those refusing the truth. What is needed is an understanding of human sexuality not as a behavior, nor a culture, nor a lifestyle, nor a choice, but rather as a natural human condition of all human beings, regardless of race, region, ethnicity, religion or creed.

Until this happens, the African LGBTQI+ community is in grave danger of all that this demonizing and ostracizing milieu delivers: Persecution, discrimination, violence, so called "mob or vigilante justice", so called "corrective" or "curative" rape, stoning, floggings, conversion therapies, blackmail, extortion, torture, disappearances, kidnappings and killings. Too Many and Too few Paths..... to be continued.... Part 2

"WE have the PUNCH but not the LUNCH..."



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