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Four African LGBT Organizations Worth Supporting

Four African LGBT Organizations Worth Supporting


* Led by (among others) Sylvia Tamale, Ph.D., dean of Uganda's elite Makerere University and an internationally renowned legal and human rights scholar, the Uganda Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law has done crucial work at bringing some timid organizations into the fight and alerting the international aid community. If the Anti-Homosexuality Bill becomes law, the group likely will lead the fight against it in the courts, where a few independent judges have shown remarkable courage in standing up to the antigay wave.

* In Malawi the Centre for the Development of People made international headlines this year for its support of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who were sentenced to 14 years in prison after they held an engagement ceremony (the jail terms were soundly condemned by everyone from U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to Madonna). President Bingu Wa Mutharika's eventual pardon of the couple was hardly a harbinger of a new gay rights era for the country. Donations to CEDEP can be made by mail to an American address listed on the group's website.

* David Kuria Mbote, the general manager of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, has been the target of smear campaigns aided by an American antigay organization, Project SEE, which has provided propaganda posters with Mbote's photograph for distribution throughout the capital city of Nairobi. He has nevertheless persisted in his mission, training small gay and lesbian groups on the principles of international human rights laws as they apply to sexual orientation and gender identity.

* Freedom and Roam Uganda represents lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex women, and has fought the broader fight for all sexual-orientation human rights in Uganda as fearlessly as any group working in the country. Though FARUG has received limited support from abroad, the group still struggles to keep the lights on, literally.

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