Leading Ugandan LGBTI rights campaigner Frank Mugisha, who recently headed to Canada to give some advice on campaigning, and who was awarded a doctorate by Ghent University earlier this year, has answered a Q&A session with the Ottawa Citizen.
What is the status of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill?
The anti-gay bill right now is in the legal and parliamentary affairs committee. The committee (is) ready to submit (its report) to the floor of parliament, so when this report is submitted, the bill can go ahead for debate.
What can activists who aren’t in Uganda do to support your efforts?
Activists? I think that would have been the frustrating question, that the LGBT community has not helped us, has not stood by us. Because, like you said, people have gotten their rights here, they feel there is no need to get engaged in the other global civil rights for LGBT people, so the LGBT people have sort of taken a step back, they don’t really care. People in Uganda think we receive tons and tons of support from gay groups in the U.S. and Europe. Not at all. It is mostly human rights organizations that are not entirely focused on LGBT issues that work in supporting us.
Other questions include:
- What effect is the presence of evangelical Christian groups from the United States having on the debate in Uganda?
- Is it safe to say that Baird didn’t actually do LGBT activists in Uganda a favour?
- What would be more helpful? What can other countries do and what forum should they do it in?
- Given the struggles you face, what keeps you going?