SPW in April 2014
Kasha Jacqueline in Brazil
On April 24th, 2014, Amnesty International and Sexuality Policy Watch, in Rio, promoted an open debate with Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, the Ugandan lesbian activist who was visiting Brazil to attend a TedX event in São Paulo.
In the debate, which followed the exhibition of the movie God Loves Uganda, Kasha commented about the presence and impact of US Evangelical groups in the country, described the human violations and other nefarious effects of the Anti-Homosexuality Law (AHA) sanctioned by the Ugandan president in February and spoke of pre-colonial sexuality and homosexuality in the African culture.
She also called Brazilian civil society to support the efforts underway led by Ugandan organizations to provide support to people being persecuted, investigated, indicted, imprisoned and also tortured by non state actors, as well as the legal initiatives aimed at contesting the constitutionality of the law.
The debate that was attended by around 80 people was also webcasted. In the excerpt below, Kasha speaks of love and human rights and examined the root causes of homophobia and the systematic human rights violations of sexual and gender non conforming persons. The full debate will be online soon at the Amnesty International Brazil webpage and Facebook fan page.
Guidelines, designed by Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRCL), to international partners on how to offer support after the recent passage of the anti homosexuality bill by the Ugandan parliament and the President of Uganda’s commitment to assent to the bill.
Other relevant materials
– Sylvia Tamale on Al Jazeera – Article on the implications of the AHA on the HIV/AIDS response
– Scott Long writes about the the World Bank Sanction on Uganda in reaction to the AHA Law
– Pambazuka News 667: SPECIAL ISSUE: The struggles for homosexual rights in Africa
– “Troubling the waters of a ‘wave of homophobia’: Political economies of anti-queer animus in sub-Saharan Africa”, by Ryan Richard Thoreson, about homophibic laws context and its political aspects.
– Jeff Sharlet, Straight Man’s Burden: The American Roots of Uganda’s Anti-gay Persecutions. Harper’s Magazine Foundation, 321: 36–48, 2010.
Brazil: the abortion frontline
In Brazil, not surprisingly, abortion has once again flared up in the path towards the next Brazilian presidential election campaign. The presidential candidate of the PSB, Eduardo Campos, said during a Catholic mass in the Basilica of Aparecida do Norte, that he is against abortion and that Brazilian law as it is is not to be changed.
To recall the virulent terms of debates on abortion in the 2010 elections check here.
Eduardo Campos speech, at a Catholic event, once again revealed the role, extension and effect of dogmatic religious positions on the Brazilian politics around abortion. Positively enough however, his speech has generated insighftul reactions on various quarters. The journalist Eliane Brum, in an article in El País, examined with great lucidity why abortion is to be addressed as a public health issue. She called the candidate to also consider in his reflections the lives of women that have to resort to clandestine and unsafe abortions and who risk imprisonment and social stigma. She also criticized the effects of dogmatic religious discourses that aim to impose their views on all citizens.
The philosophy professor Carla Rodrigues has also written about Eduardo Campos speech act, underlining the bad faith of his argument. For Rodrigues: “No one is in ‘favor of abortion’, as the anti–abortion forces characterize the advocates of legal abortion. The feminist struggle is not for abortion to become a contracpetive method, it is about decriminalizing women who abort and Campos knows that very well”, she wrote.