Faith and religion / Middle East / North Africa

Sodom, Gomorrah and 2 faiths’ fear of same-sex love

Pernicious traditional interpretations of the Biblical and Quranic story of Sodom and Gomorrah underlie much of the world’s homophobia. Brian Whitaker, former Middle East editor of the Guardian, gives a brief explanation in the valuable Guardian article “Everything you need to know about being gay in Muslim countries”: ‘It’s about attempted male rape and the … Continue reading

Africa / Americas / Asia

People-to-people: How to help LGBT folks in repressive lands

Q. A journalist asked, “How can ordinary people in liberal democracies help improve life for LGBT folks in countries where just being LGBT is against the law?” My answer is below. What is yours? (Please comment!) I wrote this quickly, without trying to craft a definitive answer: A.  First of all, it’s important for people … Continue reading


New effort seeks family support for LGBT Ugandans

Ugandan activist Clare Byarugaba is working to establish a network of supportive family members and straight allies to join the struggle for the recognition of the human rights of LGBT people. As Essence magazine reports: Understanding that Africans have deep-rooted cultural and familial connections, Clare Byarugaba is creating a Kampala chapter of PFLAG, (formerly known … Continue reading


In Uganda, new bill threatens LGBTI advocates

LGBTI rights activists in Uganda have sounded an alarm about a new threat to their advocacy of justice and fair treatment for the country’s sexual minorities. While the now-overturned Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 targeted individual LGBTI Ugandans and the organizations representing them, the NGO Bill focuses only on the LGBTI rights organizations, along with every … Continue reading

Faith and religion

Mixed reception for Vatican’s positive view of LGBTI people

LGBTI rights activists welcomed today’s Roman Catholic Church statement that expressed recognition of positive aspects of LGBTI people and same-sex relationships. Some Catholics weren’t so accepting of the bishops’ words. The preliminary report, which came in the midst of the ongoing Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family at the Vatican, suggested no change in … Continue reading

Africa / Americas

Ugandan viewpoint: ‘a dead activist is not a good activist’

Perseverance. Fear. Difficulties. Threats. Tolerance. Leadership.  Those are some of the themes of an interview with Clare Byarugaba, who until this summer was co-leader of Uganda’s Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, which led the opposition to that country’s now-overturned Anti-Homosexuality Act. Byarugaba was interviewed before starting a human rights fellowship this … Continue reading