Ugandan churches demonstrate against gay acceptance
Following last week’s historic press conference by gay rights advocates in Uganda, the Christian churches in the country showed their disapproval today with a demonstration.
It was the first anti-gay rally in the country’s history and was organised by the Uganda Joint Christian Council.
UJCC member churches include the Roman Catholic and Anglican Church of Uganda
The organisation’s mission is to uphold Christian values and address issues of human rights and social justice.
“We want to encourage the population to resist the demands of homosexuals. No one should accept a change in the Constitution meant to suit the needs of lesbians and gays,” the secretary of the UJCC, Grace Kaiso said yesterday, according to AllAfrica.com
Last week gay rights activists in Uganda spoke out about the prejudice LGBT people face in the country.
In a show of defiance and bravery, around 30 people gave a press conference, the first by LGBT activists, drawing attention to the state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia they face every day.
They called themselves the “homosexual children of God” and demanded that attacks on LGBT people stop.
Some of the activists wore masks for fear of being identified, while others shocked journalists by outlining the brutality they had faced at the hands of police.
Ugandan law outlaws homosexuality as “against the order of nature.”
Trans people are also targeted by police and regularly subject to abuse and harassment.
“We were treated in a degrading and inhumane way,” said Victor Juliet Mukasa, leader of the Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a coalition of LGBT rights groups.
“Many of us have suffered similar injustice. We are here today to proclaim that these human rights violations are completely unacceptable. Leave us to live in peace.”
There has been rising tension in the country over gay and lesbian rights in Uganda.
Last year thirteen alleged lesbians were outed by the Ugandan tabloid newspaper Red Pepper.
There have been a series of government-backed attacks on the Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the last few year, including an illegal police raid on the home of Victor Juliet Mukasa, in July 2005.
The same newspaper outed 45 supposedly gay and bisexual men, on 8 August 2006.