Jun 23 2014

What’s Behind African Persecution of LGBT Communities?

The US government last Thursday announced that it has cut aid to Uganda and canceled a military exercise in response to harsh laws outlawing homosexuality. Earlier this year, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed a law that imposed a life sentence for what is called “aggravated homosexuality.” Uganda has also banned lesbianism.

The US’s retaliatory actions include canceling visas for Ugandan officials implicated in human rights abuses. The actions are surprising in the context of the US’s alliance with Uganda against the militant group, Al-Shabab in Somalia.

Meanwhile nations like Nigeria, Rwanda and Kenya are also struggling with similar issues. Some here in the US contend that Christian right-wing groups from the US have deeply influenced the passage of anti-homosexuality laws as part of their relief work. The documentary, God Loves Uganda, which premiered at last year’s Sundance Festival also makes the case that the American evangelical groups are to blame.

Homosexuality is currently illegal in 37 out of 47 African countries.

GUEST: Ken, an LGBT rights activist from Kenya, currently on a US trip sponsored by the American Jewish World Service

Visit www.ajws.org for more information.

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