As the spotlight falls on the adoption of South Africa’s landmark Constitution, 20 years ago this year, one of its striking features -- the inclusion of the first-ever constitutional guarantee of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation -- is also under global scrutiny.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has signed a controversial bill that seeks to regulate non-governmental organisations in his country.
Adrian Jjuuko, a Ugandan human rights lawyer, wrote on his Twitter page last month that Museveni signed the Non-Governmental Organisations Act of 2015 on 30 January 2016.
In a similar vein, Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, a Ugandan lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender advocacy group, warned that, “This law will make my work very difficult and outlaw the organisation I work for.
Bishops welcome same-sex couples
Same-sex advocacy groups have applauded a decision by Anglican bishops from across Southern Africa to welcome gay and lesbian couples into congregations as full church members.
The Triangle Project, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people rights (LGBTI) organisation, welcomed the decision, saying that, “While this is a first step, any step which moves towards inclusion and tackling the stigma against LGBTI people should be welcomed...”
A gay and lesbian group in Botswana has won a landmark legal case in the country's High Court, allowing it to be officially registered.
The judge ruled that the government had acted unconstitutionally in blocking the group, Legabibo.
The Group’s Caine Youngman states that, "I am happy with the judgement - it has sent a message to the government, the entire region and Africa."
To read the article titled, “Botswana gay rights group wins landmark case,” click here.
The joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has welcomed the decision of Uganda's Constitutional Court to strike down a law banning the promotion of homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment.
The anti-gay legislation was deemed null and void by the court on the technicality that it was not passed by a required parliamentary quorum.
Zambia has reiterated its position not to recognise gay rights, saying that ‘gaysm’ runs counter to the country’s culture and is an affront to the Constitution which recognises the country as a Christian Nation.
The country’s foreign affairs deputy minister, Gabriel Namulambe, who also urged foreign missions accredited to Zambia to respect the views of the country about gay rights, says the country will abide by Christian values.
According to a newspaper report, Ugandan police are accusing a United States-funded AIDS project for paying young men to become homosexuals.
The Daily Monitor quotes police as saying that the Walter Reed Project, which provides treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS, had been ‘infiltrated’ by officers and was found to be recruiting gays.
A drug hailed as a lifesaver for many people infected by HIV is at the heart of a rancorous debate among gay men, AIDS activists and health professionals over its potential for protecting uninfected men who engage in gay sex without using condoms.
Many doctors and activists see immense promise for such preventive use of Truvada, and are campaigning to raise awareness of it as a crucial step toward reducing new HIV infections, which now total about 50 000 a year in the United States.
Gay rights activists in Uganda filed a legal petition against the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act, which calls for tougher penalties against gay persons.
The new law strengthens existing punishments for anyone caught having gay sex, imposing jail terms of up to life for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ - including sex with a minor or while HIV-positive.
The legislation criminalises lesbianism for the first time and makes it a crime to help individuals engage in homosexual acts.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says government has noted the recent global issues on lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, and intersexuals (LGBTI).
On 24 February 2014, a Zambian court reportedly freed a rights activist arrested last year for publicly advocating gay rights.
On 25 February 2014, Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, signed off an anti-gay bill - which states that first-time ‘offenders’ could be jailed for up to 14 years while repeat offenders could face life imprisonment - which would see gays imprisoned.