Agence France Presse (01.29.12) - Monday, January 30, 2012
African leaders should respect the rights of LGBT people, UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday at the 18th African
Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
"One form of discrimination ignored or even sanctioned by many
states for too long has been discrimination based on sexual
orientation or gender identity," Ban told the summit. "It
prompted governments to treat people as second-class citizens
or even criminals."
Homosexual acts are outlawed in most African countries, and
LGBT-related discrimination is rife. Previous criticisms from
outside the continent have been met by angry responses from
African leaders, who claim that homosexuality is alien to
A bill reintroduced in Uganda's Parliament late last year
would provide stiffer punishments, up the death penalty, for
various LGBT-related offenses, including gay sex involving a
person who has HIV.
"Confronting these discriminations is a challenge, but we must
not give up on the ideas of the universal declaration" of
human rights, Ban said.
"For as long as they are human beings we respect them but in
terms of their practices and orientation we strongly condemn
it," said Simon Lokodo, Uganda's Ethics and Integrity. "We
condemn in all strongest forms anyone who promotes or
propagates these practices."