Jul 12, 2012

FEW: A National Call for Action Against Violence and Murders Towards LGBTI People

Noma Kanjani Maqabane Siyaya x4


Friends of Open Closet, Forum for the Empowerment of Women and LGBTI Against Hate Crimes invite you to:

The 67 minute Picket at JHB Library Gardens in protest to the escalating Hate Crimes against members of the LGBTI community!!!!!!!!

date: 18 July 2012
time: 11am-12:07
venue:JHB Library Gardens, cnr Fraser & Market streets

Be part also of the Civil Society Organisation meeting

Date: 13 July 2012
Time: 2pm-5pm
Venue: Wits University Institute for Social and Economic Research
6th floor Richard Ward Building East Campus

National Vigil at 6pm for 67 minutes across South Africa and the world. In memory of LGBTI persons killed in hate crimes. Candles- commemoration 18 July 2012.

Lets all support this initiatives.

Jul 5, 2012

Lesbian murdered and raped in South Africa

Mother of a two-year-old daughter was discovered with neck slit from ear to ear
| By Joe Morgan
Hendrietta Thapelo Morifi was killed and raped in a vicious hate crime in South Africa.

Another lesbian has become the victim of murder and rape in South Africa.

Hendrietta Thapelo Morifi, 29, also known as Andritha, was discovered by her mother on Saturday (30 June) at her home in Polo Park, Mokopane.

According to Limpopo LGBTI Proudly Out’s Cindi Molefe, after Morifi did not answer the door, her mother broke in to discover blood-drenched underwear on the floor and Morifi’s body on a bed.

Reports suggest the young woman’s neck had been slit from ear to ear, and is believed to have been brutally raped prior to her death.

Morifi is survived by her mother and two-year-old daughter.

Despite South Africa having a constitution that states gays and lesbians should not be targets of violence or discrimination, LGBT deaths are on the rise.

Lesbian human rights campaigner Melanie Nathan said the Traditional Leaders were to blame in a comment piece for Gay Star News.

She noted Member of Parliament Nkosi Patekile Holomisa, chairman of the Review Committee who is a member of the African National Congress, proclaimed: ‘The ANC knows that the great majority of South Africans do not want to promote or protect the rights of gays and lesbians.’

On her site ologdeeoblogda.me, Nathan says: ‘How many more South Africans will die as a result of homophobia before the Zuma led government steps forward to announce that homophobia is un-African?

‘Instead the audible silence, together with the recent anti-gay attacks on the South African Constitution by Traditional leaders, serves to perpetuate the myth that being gay is un-African and hence violence is justified.’

Source: www.gaystarnews.com

Jul 2, 2012

Breaking Barriers: Frank Mugisha

Gay activist works for LGBTI and human rights in Uganda.

By Deborah Creighton Skinner
(Photo: Courtesy Rafto Foundation for Human Rights)

Gay rights are human rights, says activist Frank Mugisha. But in many countries, that is not the case. Uganda, Mugisha’s home, is one of those countries where homosexuality is a criminal offense. A proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill would make homosexual activities punishable by life in prison.

For years, Mugisha, an Ugandan advocate for the rights of sexual minorities in Uganda, has worked tirelessly for equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people in the East African country.

If you are gay in Uganda you must watch your back for fear of attacks or arrest. Many who have come out to their families are shunned. People lose their jobs. You are not guaranteed basic human rights as other citizens of Uganda. It is not right, and Mugisha wants change.

“A veil of silence enforced by thuggish street violence and official criminalization is falling over much of Africa. Being a gay activist is a sacrifice,” Mugisha wrote in the New York Times in 2011. “You have to carefully choose which neighborhood to live in. You cannot go shopping on your own, let alone go clubbing or to parties. With each public appearance you risk being attacked, beaten or arrested by the police.”

Mugisha began advocating for LGBTI rights and HIV/AIDS awareness as a university student in 2004. He launched the support group Icebreakers Uganda, which provides resources and support to those who are openly gay or are coming out. He was smuggled out of Uganda after being targeted for arrest. He has since returned and is now the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), where he continues to shine a light on one of the most vulnerable groups in the country.

“We are driven by the conviction that we are part of a larger story of global human rights, and we will not give up until we have built the future we all deserve,” he recently wrote.

In an April 2012 issue briefing on human rights and homophobia in Uganda, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights said:

Threats to the LGBTI community often result in physical harm. Statements made by public officials and the Ugandan media consistently reinforce homophobic sentiment, and at times advocate directly for violence against LGBTI people. One tabloid published the names and photographs of over 100 suspected LGBTI Ugandans, with a caption that read: “Hang Them.” Soon after, on January 26, 2011, LGBTI activist David Kato, whose picture had appeared on the front page, was brutally murdered inside his own home. Sadly, Mr. Kato’s case was not an isolated occurrence — death threats and physical violence against LGBTI people are common and seldom result in investigation by the government.

Mugisha has lost jobs and friends and become estranged from family because of his role in Uganda’s rights movement but he continues to speak out.
In conversation with the Root last year after receiving the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, Mugisha talked about gay rights in Uganda:

The Root: The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award recognizes individuals who stand up, at great personal risk, to oppression in the nonviolent pursuit of human rights. Are you afraid for your safety, or even for your life?
I fear. I fear for what will happen to me from the community, from people around me, from my friends. But my biggest fear is not coming from the government because, as an activist, I have a little bit of protection. My biggest fear is from the everyday people on the street. From my neighbors. Because I don’t have any security, I could be attacked and killed like my friend [David Kato] was.

Root: What is life like every day for gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities in Uganda?
Mugisha: There are different categories. If you are an activist, then you have to calculate and decide, “Should I take that street, should I go to that shopping mall, should I do this today, even?” Because you don’t know where the harassment will come from. Then you have an openly gay man who’s not an activist — the fear is as he’s doing his everyday work. He has to ask, is he going to be harassed, is he going to be beaten, is he going to be a target?
Then you have people who are not out, but they are gay. Their fear is the media. Their family finding out about them, the media finding out about them. Their workplaces finding out about them. They fear that they could be fired, that they could be thrown out of their homes.

Root: You have discussed the way the media fuel homophobia by outing people. What else is driving homophobia in Uganda?
Mugisha: Culture. People think homosexuality is not African, that [it] is from somewhere else, from the West. People believe the Bible has been very clear that homosexuality is a sin, and a big percentage of Uganda — 80 percent — is Christian, so that has also greatly increased homophobia.

Despite the efforts of Mugisha and SMUG, it appears that homophobia is rising in the nation. Just last week, Simon Lokodo, the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, announced he would ban 38 non-governmental gay-rights groups that it accused of promoting homosexuality.
Lokodo has been accused by gay activists of orchestrating a hate campaign against gays, including “breaking up gay conferences and threatening to expel civil society groups he says promote homosexuality in the conservative East African country,” writes the Associated Press. He is being sued by activists who say he violated the right of Ugandans to assemble when he had police break up a gay meeting in February.
You can help Frank Mugisha and SMUG battle discrimination by showing your solidarity with LGBTI people around the world by contacting your local lawmakers and clergy and urging them to stand up against acts of violence against LGBTI people. Use your voice to denouce the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill and spread the message that the bill threatens the rights of all Ugandans. Let the government of Uganda and other nations that discriminate against gays and lesbians know that their actions will no longer be tolerated. 

Original source: www.bet.com/news

Jun 26, 2012

Ugandan Authorities Crack Down on LGBT Rights Meeting
Human Rights Groups Sue Ethics Minister and Attorney General

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2012

Media Contact: Roberta Sklar

What we have here is a humanitarian crisis.”
- Val Kalende, Ugandan LGBT rights activist

(NEW YORK, June 25)—Police raided a workshop for East African lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activists being held in a suburb of Kampala, Uganda on June 18th. One day later, Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo, Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity announced his intention to “de-register ‘gay’ supporting organisations and others.”  Ugandan human rights defenders and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reacted with outrage to the latest violation of the rights to assembly and expression for LGBT rights advocates.

East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) and other human rights organizations have reported that uniformed and plain-clothed police detained participants for several hours at the workshop venue and took six people into custody in a police bus for one hour. EHAHRDP also reported that police instructed the conference organizers to end the workshop, provide their organization’s registration information to the Regional Criminal Investigations Department, and alert police of future gatherings to prevent further interruption in what amounts to a violation of domestic law.

Lokodo issued a statement in defense of the raids, saying, “Police intervened in the meeting that was suspected to be promoting gay activities and questioned the participants who were later released.” Lokodo denied that any discrimination took place and encourages all Ugandans to “stay away from unlawful activities.”

The three-day workshop, organized by the EHAHRDP, marks the second time a gathering of LGBT activists has been shut down by Ugandan police this year. Today, members of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law had their first hearing in a lawsuit against Lokodo and Uganda’s Attorney General for the February 2012 closure of a LGBT rights workshop. According to a report from Freedom and Roam Uganda, the government had not submitted their files. The next hearing is scheduled for July 6th.

The actions of the Ugandan Police and threats by Lokodo have sparked an outrage among human rights advocates in Uganda and internationally. Adrian Jjuuko of the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum Uganda said, “I believe it is the time we all took up the struggle and oppose this blatant abuse of rights.”

Val Kalende, Ugandan LGBT rights activist, said, “Fr. Lokodo’s closure of two of our workshops is not just illegal, it’s blatant misuse of power. Clearly, his actions are intended to draw attention to himself by terrorizing our community. The international community should not give credence to his statement. Violence against LGBTs in Uganda is real. What we have here is a humanitarian crisis! We need new approaches and broader support networks.”

Kasha Jacqueline, Executive Director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, who was leading the activist workshop that was shut down four months ago, said in a statement delivered to the UN Special Rapporteur on Peaceful Assembly and Association at the UN Human Rights Council on June 21st, “This has become a regrettable pattern around the world, as we have seen pride parades, peaceful demonstrations, and pro-human rights gatherings organized by LGBT organizations dispersed and organizers arbitrarily arrested.” Jacqueline issued a call to “all States to fulfill their human rights obligations” and for the “Council not to remain silent in the face of these repeated human rights violations.”


Kasha Jacqueline speaking about Freedom of Assembly at the UN Human Rights Council on June 21st. Photo courtesy of John Fisher.

Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Yunus and Dr. Shiri Ebadi have also issued a statement regarding this incident.

Jessica Stern, Acting Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), said, “The harassment of human rights defenders committed to LGBT Ugandans can no longer be called anything less than systematic.  However, in spite of Hon. Simon Lokodo’s most recent attacks, the LGBT community in Uganda will prevail because his attacks only make them more resilient, smarter in their use of the law, stronger in the community they build, and increase their number of friends in every country of Africa and around the world.”

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), founded in 1990, is a leading international human rights organization dedicated to improving the lives of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We are dedicated to strengthening the capacity of the LGBT human rights movement worldwide to conduct documentation of LGBT human rights violations and by engaging in human rights advocacy with partners around the globe. We work with the United Nations, regional human rights monitoring bodies and civil society partners. IGLHRC holds consultative status at the United Nations as a recognized Non-Governmental Organization representing the concerns and human rights of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people worldwide. For more information about the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission visit: www.iglhrc.org.

Jun 14, 2012

Ethiopia Leaders Call for Together Anti-Gay Legislations

Ethiopian government officials, religious leaders and civil representatives have declared their opposition to LGBT rights and condemned homosexuality as a western epidemic during an anti-gay conference

A national conference entitled ‘Homosexuality and its associated social disastrous consequences’ on Saturday (9 June) was held in the newly built African Union headquarters, in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

The conference was organised by Dr Seyoum Antonius, president of United for Life, a non-governmental organization which describes itself as Christian, pro-life and backing the sanctity of marriage.

Over 2,000 participants attended the conference, including the main religious leaders of Ethiopia, government officials, members of the Ethiopian Parliament, leaders of political parties, youth organizations and representatives from other civil societies.

During the conference an Ethiopian government spokesman, who GSN has not been able to identify, stated: ‘Recently, the US President Barak Obama, British Prime Minster David Cameron and other western leaders are trying to establish ties between aid and the rights of homosexuals, but this will never happen in Ethiopia.

‘We don’t want their aid as long as it is related to homosexuality, I assure you that Ethiopia has no room for homosexuality and our country will be the graveyard of homosexuality.’

Abune Paulos, the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church said: ‘Ethiopians do not need their identity to be dictated for them from outside no matter how wealthy or powerful the forces applying the pressure were.’

He also read a statement of an interfaith grouping of Ethiopia’s religious leaders condemning homosexuality as an unnatural and calling on international bodies to stop attempting to ‘subvert’ Ethiopian traditions.

The statement called upon the Ethiopian government to punish ‘those who are found infested with sodomite activities’ and called for raising awareness how to protect society from this ‘infestation’.

Dr Seyoum Antonius presented findings of his ‘study’ that ‘proved’ that homosexuality is a result of inappropriate upbringing and leads to STDs, HIV and ‘severe psychological disorders’.

This directly contradicts the view of professional medical and psychological bodies around the world, including the World Health Organization.

The conference also heard a ‘witness’ account of a young Ethiopian man who was forcefully raped at the age of six and consequently ‘infected with the homosexual disease for 20 years’ and is also living with AIDS. The man claimed that he has been ‘cured from homosexuality’ and is now a ‘changed man’.

Activist ‘Selam’ from EthioLGBT.com, a support site for LGBT Ethiopians stated: ‘Tollowing this conference, the atmosphere is becoming more hostile and tough to the LGBT community in Ethiopia.’

Under Ethiopian law, homosexual activity is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

Author: Dan Littauer, source Pink News

Jun 14, 2012

Kenya – VP Silent on MP’s Question over Gays and Lesbians

Mike Sonko, known for his flashy dressing and jewelry angered Parliament this year when he referred to the Prime Minister, Raila Odinga as ‘Waziri Mkuu ni shoga yangu kutoka kitambo’ (the PM is my gay from long ago) leading to supporters of the PM to call for a retraction and an apology from him.

‘Shoga’ is a derogatory term for homosexuals.

Sonko has also dared to undress infront of Parliament and expose his genitals to ‘show the wounds he suffered’ after he claimed police offices roughed him up. He was debating with the then late Minister for Internal Security, Prof George Saitoti.

LGBT critic and Identity Kenya magazine columnist, Queer Watchtower argues that Sonko’s question to the VP cannot be answered.

‘Number of gays, lesbians cannot be estimated or calculated that easily since the community is still silent and in hiding. Kenya, as you may be aware is not as welcoming to gays,’ he said in a telephone interview with Identity Kenya.

He points out that Sonko’s question showed the ‘visibility’ that the community now enjoys. He also chides the MP how he knows who is gay or lesbian.

‘For him to question why there is an increase, we have to question him how he knows who is gay or who is lesbian. Does he know something we do not? Its not like people go around with stickers on their head written gay!’

Watchtower, however, dismissed the legislator as a ‘attentionista’ claiming his recent remarks that ‘Makadara will not accept gays’ as inflammatory.

He points out that Sonko is on record as having opposed the election of Mombasa governor aspirant Suleiman Shahbal saying ‘that Shahbal should not be voted in as governor since he supports behaviour (homosexuality) that is contrary to societal ethics.’

For the full article of Denis Nzioka please refer to:


May 12, 2012

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay talking about LGBT equal rights.

After some fearing statements of some “leaders” in Africa requiring changes in  the constitution and removing antidiscrimination rights for LGBT people, here is the encouraging 2 minutes video of High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who in contrary requires more equal rights for LGBT community wordwide.

High Comissioner for Human Rights on equal rights for LGBT community

May 12, 2012

FEW Media release

Our partner organization FEW released following media statement :

LGBTI community standing up against oppressive patriarchal leaders!

As the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex ( LGBTI) community we are enraged that traditional leaders are making such careless statements. It is such a betrayal when a body that is supposed to protect the rights of people turns around and proposes an amendment of those very rights to exclude people from the constitution. We have a constitution to protect the rights of everyone, not just those of the majority.

Nkosi Patekile Holomisa claims that “the majority of South Africa is against the promotion and protection of these things” we have a constitution precisely to do that, even though the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community (LGBTI) is the minority, but they are human first and foremost and by virtue of being human they are entitled to human rights and equal protection of the law, there are no exceptions.

What the National House of Traditional Leaders is doing is very dangerous, as Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) we do not know if they realise that this constitutes a hate speech. They are inciting violence towards the LGBTI community. They are leaders, what they say no matter how irrational, will be taken as an order to take action by some people.

Hate crimes against the LGBTI community are on the rise in South Africa, and we have leaders who claim that homosexuality is a condition, an ailment that has to be remedied. We seem to be regressing rather than progressing, if we have leaders who think they way that the National House of Traditional Leaders thinks. To remove a certain group of people from the constitution would be a dangerous slippery slope, whose rights are going to be taken next? Taking away sexual orientation would affirm that it is alright to kill, rape, torture others based on sexual orientation. What would follow next would be criminalization of it.

We demand that the National House of Traditional Leaders apologises to the LGBTI community and take back what they said, because it is an infringement of people’s rights. Our bill of rights in section 16(2) says even though we have the freedom of expression, but “ freedom of expression does not extend to (b) incitement of imminent violence, (c) Advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

The language that Kgosi Thobejane used (on radio 702 at 10: am on May 7th 2012 with Redi Tlhabi that can be found on podcast,) was carefully selected to incite action, words such as “unnatural, condition, not normal, we cannot allow it, who will account for this to the next generation”? What we would like to know is if they are going to account to this generation for all the homophobic attacks that will result from his speech? They clearly incite people to want to act and fix whatever condition he is talking about.

As for Nkosi Patekile Holomisa to claim that “people are homosexuals because they skipped a ritual, when the right rituals are conducted they are cured”, shows how clueless he is. We fail to see how same sex marriages infringe on anyone’s rights whereas what they are proposing is a clear infringement on people’s rights. This clearly undermines people’s dignity.

I guess marrying a hundred straight wives gets old after a while, so they have to tap into the homosexual community as well. What is the National House of Traditional Leaders doing to fix the alarmingly high divorce rates, now they want to pick on people who love each other enough to want to stay together and be a family, Thobejane is worried about homosexuals adopting children, what have they done to fix these high rates of orphaned children? As traditional leaders they need to stick to things they know a thing or two about, and leave the homosexual community alone, because obviously they know nothing about homosexuality.

For more information please contact the following:
Director /Programmes Coordinator
Zoleka Luswazi /Phindi Malaza
T: 011 403 1906/7
F: 011 403 1035
EMAIL: director@few.org.za; phindim@few.org.za ,

May 1, 2012

Traductor – new corporate sponsor of CALBiA

CALBiA welcomes Traductor – the professional translation services company from Switzerland. Traductor is known for its great engagements for equal rights and especially LGBT diversity.  www.traductor.ch

So that Italian and French aren’t all Greek to you

If you remember your Latin, you’ll know what Traductor does. The name says it all: Traductor translates. But only into the languages we’ve grown up with: Italian and French. We’ve a particular flair for them. Which means we don’t just translate your texts, we adapt them to the culture of the language region you’re targeting. Because slogans or headlines that play with words can’t be translated literally. If you even try to do so, you’re already on the wrong tack (which is definitely not “le faux clou” in French). Rigid one-to-one translation deprives a text of its wit.

Apr 3, 2012

CALBiA Workshops in Townships

CALBiA Marketing Leader, Nosi Morumo is driving introductory workshops in townships. The workshops are good frequented and provide an insight in CALBiA’s steps to be followed in order to get the support.  Future entrepreneurs learn there what are the objectives, how to build the professional business plan and what are other criteria to become a CALBiA applicant.

For next workshops dates please refer to facebook:








Workshop in Kagiso








Workshop in Bekkerdal








Workshop in Mohlakeng