Desmond Tutu Calls on World Leaders to Protect LGBTI Rights

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, alongside three other Nobel Laureates, has called upon world governments, in particular Russian and Ugandan lawmakers, to safeguard the rights of LGBTI citizens.

Says the statement:

“Collectively we represent a diverse array of countries and cultures. Today more than ever, we wish to express that the same cultural values, which have fostered and supported our lifelong quests for peace, also command us to speak out against the violence and discrimination our fellow human beings are enduring every day solely because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.

In many of our countries the influence of colonial era laws still makes outlaws of LGBTI people. Recent legislative efforts like those underway in Russia and Uganda could pose even more sinister sanctions on LGBTI people as well their allies, ourselves included. The criminalization of adult, consensual homosexuality in any form is unacceptable. And, we must remain vigilant even in countries that rightly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, to ensure that LGBTI citizens are effectively protected from the hatred and bigotry that persists.”

The statement was released via the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice & Human Rights in conjunction with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and is co-signed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professor Jody Williams, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, and Professor Muhammad Yunus.

This message comes less than a week after Simon Lokodo, Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity, closed down a gay rights conference and announced a ban on 38 human rights organizations for “promoting homosexuality.”

The Ugandan administration issued a statement on Friday saying that homosexuals are not persecuted in Uganda and are free to assemble, which international media took as a sign of an act of contrition on Lokodo’s part–this, as I explained in this piece, was false.

There have also been widespread calls from Uganda’s religious leaders for Parliament to move on a bill, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, that carries the death penalty for repeat offenders.

“It is clear that our government and Christian leaders are escalating their campaign of intimidation and harassment against the LGBTI community in Uganda,” Frank Mugisha, executive director of SMUG and 2011 RFK Human Rights Award Laureate, is quoted as saying. “We welcome the moral courage of Archbishop Tutu and other world leaders, echoing their call to allow LGBTI people to live in peace in Uganda.”

“Uganda’s efforts to enshrine homophobia in law could ignite a chain reaction through governments worldwide, putting the rights and safety of LGBTI people and their advocates in danger,” warned Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center, in a press release. “The Nobel Laureates’ concern is a direct response to those, who misappropriate cultural values to justify a growing attack on human rights.”

The statement, as noted above, also expressly fingers Russia for its move to create “homosexual propaganda” bans, laws that are so vague they have been used to prevent peaceful protests.

 

The full statement issued by the Laureates can be read on the next page.

Statement of Concern on Violence and Discrimination against
LGBTI People

As a global community of individuals dedicated to a more peaceful and just world, we wish to express our grave concern as to how our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) brothers and sisters are being treated across the globe.

Collectively we represent a diverse array of countries and cultures. Today more than ever, we wish to express that the same cultural values, which have fostered and supported our lifelong quests for peace, also command us to speak out against the violence and discrimination our fellow human beings are enduring every day solely because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.

In many of our countries the influence of colonial era laws still makes outlaws of LGBTI people. Recent legislative efforts like those underway in Russia and Uganda could pose even more sinister sanctions on LGBTI people as well their allies, ourselves included. The criminalization of adult, consensual homosexuality in any form is unacceptable. And, we must remain vigilant even in countries that rightly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, to ensure that LGBTI citizens are effectively protected from the hatred and bigotry that persists.

By expressing our solidarity with LGBTI people around the world, we recognize the inherent dignity and human rights of all individuals, without prejudice or intolerance, and we take an important step forward in our collective journey toward peace.

In the universal spirit of compassion and unity,

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
1984 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
South Africa

Professor Jody Williams
1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
United States

Dr. Shirin Ebadi
2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Iran

Professor Muhammad Yunus
2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Bangladesh

 

Related Reading:

Ugandan LGBT Rights Activist Now Allowed UK Entry

Suspicious Burglary at Ugandan Gay Rights Organization

Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Set to Return

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Wa-j.

49 comments

Hannah Scrivener
Hannah Scrivener3 years ago

Desmond for Pope? I'd support it.

William Troy
William Troy3 years ago

Not liking someone's choices does not justify the removal of their choices

Michael S.
Michael S.4 years ago

I don't know why I am wasting my time with very unpleasant person but I feel obligated to respond to Elaine A. - what are you, two years old? In the event that Archbishop Desmond Tutu did ever wear a tutu - quite honestly, who cares?! The Archbishop Desmond Tutu is one of the greatest men to ever grace our Earth and he truly embraces the true nature of Christianity. This is something you Right Wing Nuts just don't get with your completely distorted false version of Christianity which you keep trying to force on the rest of us. Why the heck are you on our site even Elaine A.? Please crawl back under your rock - no one will miss you here.
Pamylie G. - I could not agree with you more!

Rose NoFWDSPLZ
Rose Becke4 years ago

Go Desmond

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad4 years ago

Desmond probably wears a "TUTU"!

Myriam G.
Myriam G.4 years ago

Desmond Tutu always puts forward the true nature of christianity: understanding ourselves and our fellow human beings, not judging anyone

In my high school yearbook, a guy signed under his photo, "to my friend, Myriam Tutu". That's the most wonderful compliment I ever received, and I try to remember it, especially when I get less tolerant...

Pamylle G.
Pamylle G.4 years ago

I've always adored Desmond Tutu - he is always loving & just.

Take notice, bigots who use their religion as an excuse for discrimination: this is a person who REALLY follows the teachings of Jesus.

Pamela Tracy
Pamela Tracy4 years ago

THERE ARE NO RIGHTS FOR WOMEN OR CHILDREN EITHER..AND I CAN PROVE THAT I AS A 60'S WOMAN WHO WORKED AN HONEST NON SEX JOB WAS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ALSO ......THE ISSUE SURROUNDING LGBT RIGHTS IS MISCONSTRUED...THE REASON IS OUR COUNTRY OF USA HAS CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS AND THEREFORE WE ARE ALL ALLOWED OUR SAY...UNFORTUNATELY I AM SICK OF SOME OF THE THINGS I HAVE READ BY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE AND OTHERS ABOUT LGBT RIGHTS BUT THE THING IS WOMEN ARE STILL ENDANGERED IN THE WORKPLACE ALSO..THE 60'S ALL OVER AGAIN...MEN ARE GIVEN PERKS SECRETLY SO WOMEN WONT KNOW...MEN MAKE EXCUSES TO HARASS WOMEN TO MAKE THEM LOOK LIKE THEIR SEX OBJECTS..WHICH I WAS NOT OTHERS WERE...THE FACT IS IF THINGS DONT GET BETTER FOR GAYS I CAN TELL YOU THAT NOTHING WILL GET BETTER FOR WOMEN EITHER.

Kristen H.
Kristen H.4 years ago

Good for him! yay Basic Human Rights!

Susanna Westerholm

Great!