Many consensual same-sex couples in
The International Lesbian and Gay Association (Ilga) reports that 38 African countries still criminalise consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults and there have been many cases of victimisation across the continent, with new laws passed to limit gay and lesbian activity.
In line with its Constitution South Africa passed the Civil Union Act in 2006, making it possible for gay and lesbian couples to marry. In 2007 gay and lesbian activists met in
What is the situation for lesbian and gay people in your country?
But when they come back from signing, the Constitution is not changed. One of the objectives of Integrity [and Sexual Minorities Uganda] is to fight the legal system and the discriminatory laws. We try to advocate and lobby organisations and decision-makers to fight these laws. We need to remove the idea our leaders have that this is a white thing.
There is no law in
But this involves risks … We [are] tired of politicians in
If you are gay and it becomes public knowledge, people taunt you, they verbally abuse you … people have suffered homophobic attacks and violence.
What are the possibilities for law reform in your country?
Kato: If we begin asking for marriage now our mission will backfire. They will think we’re just looking for sex. What we need is to be tolerated and to have the same rights as other people … to break down discriminatory laws.
Baumann: One of the challenges that we face is that people are afraid to be seen. You can count on your hands the strong gay activists in
How do you feel about the fact that same-sex couples can now get married in
Kato: Since Integrity is a Christian organisation, love has no barriers for us. Some people think marriage is just about getting children out of it.
But not all heterosexual couples produce children. They forget that marriage is also about companionship and love for each other.
Baumann: I am proud that at least one African country has achieved this.
Misedah: The situation we have right now in
For example, I can be chased out of school because of my sexual orientation, or thrown out by landlords. This is what we want to address first before we start talking about marriage.
Ruzindana: I was listening to the radio when I heard about the same-sex marriage law being passed in