By rnickens

Website: www.heretostaycoalition.weebly.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Here-To-Stay/1181244290
Email: heretostaycoalition@gmail.com
Contact: Iyatunde Folayan
Phone #: 562-331-4038

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak. ~ Audre Lorde (Gamba Adisa) Lesbian, African-American, Activist, New York Poet Laureate and National Book Award winner

LOS ANGELES, CA–February 9, 2011
We, the members of the HERE TO STAY COALITION, a grassroots Southern Californian-based, Black LGBT group committed to ending homophobia, hereby express our solidarity with the LGBT community in the East-African nation of Uganda, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and all activist organizations who are currently besieged by vile acts of homophobia, including assassination and media stigmatization.

We entirely condemn the recent cold-blooded murder of the prominent Gay activist, David Kato, following publication of his name by Rolling Stone, a Ugandan newspaper. The newspaper, two months preceding the assassination, published the names of 100 persons it described as “Uganda’s Top Homos” in the country.

The paper conspicuously displayed the words “Hang Them” across its banner. We acknowledge the years of struggle by Ugandan, regional and continent-wide organizations, Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, and Uganda’s own High Court decision condemning the violations of privacy and safety resulting from the Rolling Stone publication.

Very regrettably, the nation of Uganda - among other African countries - has become peculiarly infamous as a country where the existence of Lesbians, Gay men and Transgender individuals is recklessly endangered. By their pronouncements and actions, a powerful segment of the Ugandan political and clerical hierarchy has fostered an atmosphere in which homophobia thrives. For years now, Uganda has witnessed a frightening phenomenon of intensifying private and public campaigns against the LGBT community. This sickening trend has now culminated in the assassination of David Kato and presumably countless others.

As we join in solidarity with the Ugandan LGBT community, we remain critically conscious of the unfinished work against violence and exclusion we face within the African-American community and America as a whole.

We remember our historic role as African-Americans in solidarity with African, South African, and Southern African political campaigns, social movements, clergy and human rights champions calling for the end of apartheid in racist South Africa and see that the injustices and homophobia faced by LGBT Ugandans require from us that same conviction.

We support the demand of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in pressing the Ugandan government to investigate the killings of David Kato, additional Ugandan LGBT individuals, and to hold all perpetrators accountable.

As an urgent first step, the HERE TO STAY COALITION hereby calls on the Ugandan political leadership to immediately terminate further consideration of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill pending in the nation’s parliament. This horrendous bill, if passed would sanction the state execution of Ugandan LGBT people.
With the murder of David Kato, the Anti-Homosexuality bill has become indelibly stained in blood. We feel that the only way to honor David Kato’s fight for the human rights and freedoms of LGBT communities in Uganda is to insure that this bill never sees the light of day.

The HERE TO STAY COALITION equally urges the American churches, which are surreptitiously and overtly funding and supporting the ”evangelism” of homophobia in Uganda and other parts of Africa, to desist from their actions.

We recognize that a powerful grouping of these same American clergy members have been fomenting and funding hatred and division between African-Americans of faith and the African-American LGBT.

We will no longer accept such insidious and predatory practices in our community and will do everything in our power to uproot and expose its destructive presence. We resolutely reject attempts to eject us and condemn us as LGBT people from the human family.

For the HERE TO STAY COALITION, it is our moral and ethical obligation to initiate and join on-going campaigns in the battle to protect ourselves and other LGBT communities from hate crimes whether legislated, preached, or published.

We must, in the name of David Kato, Audre Lorde and all African LGBT freedom fighters, let our sisters and brothers in Uganda know that they are not alone. Coordinated telephone calls, Facebook, e-mails and all other forms of communication must be activated to convey our condemnation of this killing and opposition to the draconian Anti-Homosexuality bill to the Ugandan government and consulates in the United States.

Bigotry’s birthplace is the backroom of the mind where plots and schemes are hatched for the persecution and oppression of other human beings.~ Bayard Rustin, Gay, African-American, Civil Rights leader, architect of the 1963 March on Washington and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Contact the Ugandan Embassy in Washington, D.C.,
The Republic of Uganda and the US Department of State: His Excellency Professor
Perezi K. Kamunanwire
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
5911 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20011 Phone: (202)726-0416
Fax: (202) 726-1727
Email: ugembassy@aol.com

Assistant Secretary Michael H. Posner
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520 Phone: (202) 647-5924

President of The Republic of Uganda,
H.E. Yoweri Museveni
Parliament Building
PO Box 7168
Kampala, Uganda
Email: info@govexecutive.net
Fax: + 256 414 346 102
Salutation: Your Excellency

Inspector General of Police, Major Kale Kayihura
Police Headquarters
PO Box 7055
Kampala, Uganda
Fax: + 256 414 255 630
Salutation: Dear Major

Minister of Justice, Hon. Makubuya Kiddu
Parliament Building
PO Box 7183
Kampala, Uganda
Email: info@justice.go.ug
Fax: + 256 414 234 453

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Categories : JRC