14 Leaders In Africa Standing For Equality

Despite deafening homophobia in Africa, voices for equality continue to pierce through.

1. Bishop Christopher Senyojo, Uganda

[Anglican leaders in Uganda] said I should condemn the homosexuals. I can’t do that, because I was called to serve all people, including the marginalized. But they say I am inhibited until I recant. I am still a member of the Anglican church.

2. Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Ghana

Homosexuals are not criminals (and shouldn’t be sentenced to life in prison).

3. James Macharia, health secretary, Kenya

‘The Ministry…has a constitutional obligation to provide health services to all without discrimination’ in the face of ‘increased fear, stigma, discrimination and potential acts of violence against the key populations.’

4. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, former Ugandan vice-president who serves as the UN Special Envoy for HIV-AIDS in Africa

I am in full solidarity with the LGBT community and I will continue to defend their rights in Uganda and across Africa.

5. Tharcisse Karugarama, former minister of justice, Rwanda

The government I serve and speak for on certain issues cannot and will not in any way criminalize homosexuality; sexual orientation is a private matter and each individual has his or her own orientation – - this is not a State matter at all.

6. James Tengatenga, former Anglican bishop for Southern Malawi

[Politicians] dehumanize the gays. They know they can say such horrible things with impunity, [but]… We are talking about human beings after all.

7. Dr. Willy Mutunga, chief justice, Kenya

Gay rights are human rights!

In a speech to launch the opening of The Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA Uganda) office in Uganda / Via youtube.com

8. Nana Oye Lithur, Minister for Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Ghana

The rights of everybody—including homosexuals—should be protected.

9. Fox Odoi, West Budama North M.P., Uganda

If you cannot allow me to choose who I am to love, then you are denying me a fundamental right.”

10. Festus Mogae, former president of Botswana

As long as we confine gays and lesbians into dark corners … the battle on HIV and AIDS can never be won.

11. Clayson Monyela, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa

South Africa believes that no persons should be subjected to discrimination or violence on any ground, including on the basis of sexual orientation.

12. Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique

Granting everyone the freedom – and the means — to make informed decisions about very basic aspects of one’s life – one’s sexuality, health, and if, when and with whom to have relationships, marry or have children – without any form of discrimination, coercion or violence. This also implies convenient, affordable access to quality information and services and to comprehensive sexuality education. We can no longer afford to discriminate against people on the basis of age, sex, ethnicity, migrant status, sexual orientation and gender identity, or any other basis – we need to unleash the full potential of everyone.

13. First Lady Dr. Christine Kaseba Sata, Zambia

Silence around issues of men who have sex with men should be stopped and no one should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation. Rather, we should address reproductive health issues around this issue.

14. Desmond Tutu, Archbishop (retired)

We must be entirely clear about this: the history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste, and race. But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love. There is only the grace of God. There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, among others, attest to these facts.

Here’s a nice infographic to sum this all up.

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