Queer Notes: May-June 2023

June 8, 2023

From the May-June 2023 issue of News & Letters

by Elise Barclay

It is horrible that Uganda’s President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023, which includes the death penalty, after holding out for language about “the issue of rehabilitation” of the “psychologically disoriented person.” Opponents of the bill have risen up! Non-binary Ugandan artist DeLovie Kwagala, living in South Africa, UN’s UNAIDS, International AIDS Society, Sexual Minorities of Uganda (see “Queer Notes,” Sept.-Oct. 2016 N&L, p. 9) and Ugandan 2SLGBTQIA+ activists all decry the bill, demanding the European Union cut aid to Uganda. Protests have been held in South Africa and in front of Ugandan embassies worldwide. The National LGBTQ Task Force’s National Religious Leadership Roundtable condemns the Bill, but the legislation exists in part because of the influence of extreme evangelical Christians from the west. 2SLGBTQIA+ Ugandans who have fled the country, to Kenya, Europe and North America, give encouragement and advice to Queer people still in Uganda. In Kenya, same-sex marriage remains illegal but their highest court recently ruled that everyone who is human has the right to free association.

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Supporters of a drag story time at Middlesex County Library in Parkhill, Ontario, Canada, in late April protected the storytellers and attendees from 40 protesters waving signs and proclaiming their objections. Members of the Wind Sisters motorcycle club escorted adults and children into the event, and formed a chain separating supporters and protesters. Strathroy Pride, Rainbow Optimists and the library organized the drag story after nearby Oxford County’s Norwich Township Council voted to allow only Federal, Provincial, and Municipal flags be flown on municipal property.

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Namibia’s Supreme Court ruled that the Ministry’s lack of recognition of same-sex marriages conducted in other countries undermines the dignity and equality of the appellants, two married couples, and granted recognition of such marriages if one spouse is a foreign national of a country recognizing same-sex marriage. The appellants were Namibian Anette Seiler and her wife German national Anita Seiler-Lilles, married in Germany, and Namibian Johan Potgieter and his husband South African national Matsobane Daniel Digashu, married in South Africa. Homosexuality remains illegal in Namibia, although the laws are rarely enforced. South Africa is the only African nation where same-sex marriage is legal.


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