In the wake of an Ugandan newspaper publishing the names and pictures of the country’s “top homosexuals” recently (with an appalling banner reading ‘Hang them’ on the cover), gay rights across the world and particularly in Africa have become a topic of discussion once more. As many Ugandan homosexuals said in response to the publishing of what can only be described as a ‘hit list’, the situation had been much calmer and more stable prior to the publishing of this article and in the years before homosexuality had become a religiously and politically charged issue on the continent.
With well-documented involvement from western, especially American evangelical groups in stigmatizing and condemning homosexuality openly and vociferously, the space for maneuver for many African gays has become suffocatingly narrow. They are trapped between traditional norms that do not approve of homosexuality; attitudes that had simply lain dormant or been overlooked until recently, and a religiously conservative movement that has systematically stoked intolerance and hatred against gays.
Will the situation for the LGBT community only get worse or are we witnessing a mix of setbacks and progress worldwide, with true human rights respected in some places, while a wave of intolerance and prejudice hits others?
We hold an excellent set of resources on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights in the ISN Digital Library. Feel free to explore and let us know what you found particularly interesting. Here are some highlights:
- A recent Congressional Research Service paper on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
- An ETC paper on the LGBT community as an ‘easy target’
- A News Article on the position of gays and lesbians in the military