Anti-gay rage: Sign of progress toward gay rights?

Published: January 27, 2014

Why are sub-Saharan Africa and Russia undergoing a wave of anti-gay attacks, arrests and legislation?

Two reasons are frequently cited:
?Politicians’ use of anti-gay rhetoric and anti-gay legislation to deflect attention from their nations’ problems;
?Encouragement from anti-gay Christian fundamentalists.
But another explanation for the anti-gay crackdown is that it is a conservative reaction to activists’ successes in raising the issue of justice for LGBT people.  The Toronto Star reports:
Graeme Reid, director of the LGBT program for Human Rights Watch
Graeme Reid, director of the LGBT program for Human Rights Watch
“It’s a backlash against an increased visibility and activism throughout sub-Saharan Africa that we have seen over the last 20 years,” says Graeme Reid, director of the LGBT group for Human Rights Watch.
“There’s been an emergence of an African LGBT movement and it’s much more visible and much more vocal. So I think . . . there’s a link between the two.”
“[Bruce Knotts, director of the Unitarian Universalist office at the United Nations,] agrees, recalling an interview with a Ugandan minister who repeated an often-heard opinion on homosexuality in Africa: that it is an import from Europe and the West.
The interviewer didn’t accept that position, Knotts says, and forced the issue. Finally, the man acquiesced.
“And what this particular minister said was, ‘Yes. OK, fine. We know they’ve always existed but they’ve never asked for their rights before.’ And I think that’s what the African leaders are seeing,” Knotts says.
Full text of article available at link below –

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