It is apt too that my country took the initiative at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 by tabling a precedent-setting resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. This resulted in a report on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide. A heated council debate on that report in 2012 made the simple point that LGBT rights are human rights, and should be part of the routine work of the council.
Uganda’s constitutional court took a positive step when it ruled today that the dreaded Anti-Homosexuality Act is unconstitutional. The judges ruled on procedure rather than substance – they said the lack of quorum in parliament on the day of the vote violated the legislative process.
Recent attention has focused on innovative medical developments that could dramatically reduce the number of new HIV infections. But ensuring access to health care and medication so that people can benefit from these developments is equally important.
South Africa’s inexplicable support for a regressive resolution at the UN Human Rights Council brings into question its commitment to gender equality and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
In February, President Obama announced that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s signing the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law would “complicate our valued relationship with Uganda.” On June 19, the US finally announced what those “complications” look like: visa sanctions for human rights abusers, including for violations of LGBTI rights and those involved in public corruption, a $2.4 million cut in U.S. aid to the police, reallocation of some funds for the Health Ministry to nongovernmental groups, and the cancellation of plans to conduct an East African “military aviation exercise” in Uganda.
In Syria’s savage war, it seems incongruous to single out the experiences of one group. Yet many gay men there face a double threat: They’re being persecuted by the Syrian army and by militant groups while their families often reject them, or worse.
On March 7, Malaysia's opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was sentenced to five years in prison for sodomy. This is just the latest iteration in a long and unfortunate history of using sodomy laws against political rivals.
President Vladimir Putin's widely reported statement to a group of volunteers in Sochi on January 17 that "gay sex is not a crime in Russia, so gay people can feel calm, at ease, but leave children in peace, please" was highly offensive.