South Africa: LGBTI Groups to Launch Hands Off our Rights Campaign to Mark Anti Homophobia Day

Published: May 16, 2012

As the world marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17 (tomorrow) the South African LGBTI community in Johannesburg will be launching a new campaign.
The “Hands Off Our Rights Campaign” will bring together a number of organisations and individuals mainly from different townships around Johannesburg.
The campaign is a reaction to the recent statement by Patekile Holomisa, leader of the House of Traditional leaders to the effect that “the ANC knows that the ‘great majority’ of South Africans do not want to promote or protect the rights of gays and lesbians.”
Holomisa also happens to be the chairperson of the Constitutional Review Committee.
May 17 is the day when Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people find an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy their existence.
Such gatherings mainly occur in countries where there is already legislation that respects the existence of LGBTI people.
Most importantly the day is also used to encourage acknowledgement and legitimisation of LGBTI people’s rights in other countries where such rights are still a dream.
Recent developments in South Africa should serve to remind us all of the significance of this day
In a press statement released today by the campaign it was said that the new campaign was formed in order to ensure that the following points were executed and achieved.
1.A strong Constitutional rights defence is established and is effective
 2.All organisations, communities, citizens have a full understanding of the Constitutional Review process in order to encourage engagement and participation
 3.Awareness is raised on the possible threat against our rights, our dignity and freedom by those who are intentionally pushing their selfish interests
 4.Work together with non LGBTI organisations in defending not only the sexual orientation right but all the rights within the Bill of Rights found in the Constitution of the Republic Act 108 of 1996.
 5.A joint submission amongst the groups to be developed and submitted to the Review Committee before the 30th May 2012

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