Friday, 12 April 2013

Uganda Comes to Ireland

Ugandan activist Kasha Nabagesera (file photo)
Ugandan Campaigner, Kasha Nabagesera

“[Speaking out] drives the point at home that we are not alone,” she said, “and that the world is watching.”

Despite having to constantly move from house to house when home to avoid being identified, she is never tempted to stay in one of the many countries she travels to:

"I still love my country. There are some people who are very very evil, but there are people who love us, who keep us strong, and together I believe that we can bring about change."

The recipient of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2011, she is set to be awarded the Seán MacBride Award for Human Rights this weekend.

“I hope to share my experience and I’m hoping to learn a lot too,” she said of her Irish trip. “I’m going to have a lot of meetings with government officials when I’m here.”

“The people I speak for need moral support, technical support, and financial support,” she said.

Another article, which also appeared yesterday, leads with the headline:

And asserts:

It’s no surprise gay-bashing happens in Ireland when our legislation enshrines discrimination and our media is only happy to stoke the flames...

The topics of gay rights and specifically gay marriage have received more and more coverage over the past decade. It’s a huge movement, and while some societies are affording lesbians and gays equal marriage rights, many aren’t. Many see civil marriage rights as an inevitability, but there’s a real problem with how the debate has been and continues to be framed here. I’m sick of it. It’s time to stop positioning gay people as punching bags – both figuratively and literally – in the context of this debate.

Seems like Uganda and Ireland have a lot in common on this issue.

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