The human rights situation for LGBT people in Uganda is frightening. And brave Ugandans are standing on the side of love in incredibly inspiring ways. Unitarian Universalists around the world can join together to support the work happening in Uganda by contributing to the Unitarian Universalist Association / Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UUA/UU-UNO) LGBT Uganda Fund. And, by understanding the context in which this is happening.
Unitarian Universalists in Uganda have been organizing against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill since it was first introduced, and will continue to oppose it as it returns to the Ugandan Parliament for reconsideration in 2011.
On Valentine’s Day 2010, Rev. Mark Kiyimba – leader of the Unitarian Universalists of Uganda – organized a successful “Standing on the Side of Love” event in Kampala with support from the UUA. Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, minister of their partner church (All Souls Church, Tulsa), participated, as did a representative of the UU-United Nations Office. More information about the event is available from UU World.
The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) continues its vital work for LGBT human rights in Uganda and around the world. The UU-UNO recently organized the second LGBTI/SOGI Consultation, which included retired Anglican Bishop Senyonjo and Frank Mugisha, the executive director of “Sexual Minorities Uganda.” Both Bishop Senyonjo and Frank Mugisha are close partners of the Unitarian Universalists in Uganda. You can listen to an NPR interview with them online.
The UUs in Uganda have asked the UUA and UU-UNO for help in order to continue to work closely with all LGBT human rights activists in Uganda. Together with their partner organizations, the UUs in Uganda will help members of their community escape violence and continue important human rights work.
A gift to this Fund can help the UUs in Uganda bring much-needed support to people like Peter, a gay man currently living in Kampala, who has been chased out of his house by violent mobs on multiple occasions. Recently he wrote that he is “moving around sleeping [at] different houses in fear of my life due to the tragic incidence that befell me.” Or Thomas, a medical doctor who has conducted over 100 Health and Human Rights awareness talks and community dialogues and has reached over 500 BGLT individuals in Uganda to provide education, counseling, and support. Your contribution to the UUA/UU-UNO Fund can help these courageous individuals continue their outreach work and influence public policy.
Your contribution to the UU-UNO LGBT Uganda Fund will also help Rev. Mark Kiyimba provide a religious message of welcoming and justice to all Ugandans, including the LGBT community. With your help, Rev. Kiyimba can continue and expand his work in the community, including an expanded Standing on the Side of Love event in Kampala on Valentine’s Day 2011.
In addition, your contribution will:
- Provide shelter and support for LGBT citizens and their allies in Uganda, including a youth safe house, a telephone hotline, and other direct services.
- Support advocacy work around LGBT issues in Uganda to dispel myths and fears.
- Help the UU Church in Uganda host their second Standing on the Side of Love Conference in February 2011.
To hear more perspectives on the events in Uganda:
Current TV correspondent Mariana van Zeller produced an in-depth program – Missionaries of Hate – about the influence of American religious leaders in Uganda. Below is the trailer for the program, or watch the full program here.
In mid-December an interview with the author of the “Kill the Gays Bill” – David Bahati – was aired on the Rachel Maddow Show: