LGBTI community standing up against oppressive patriarchal leaders!
As the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex ( LGBTI) community we are enraged that traditional leaders are making such careless statements. It is such a betrayal when a body that is supposed to protect the rights of people turns around and proposes an amendment of those very rights to exclude people from the constitution. We have a constitution to protect the rights of everyone, not just those of the majority. Nkosi Patekile Holomisa claims that “the majority of South Africa is against the promotion and protection of these things” we have a constitution precisely to do that, even though the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community (LGBTI) is the minority, but they are human first and foremost and by virtue of being human they are entitled to human rights and equal protection of the law, there are no exceptions.
What the National House of Traditional Leaders is doing is very dangerous, as Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) we do not know if they realise that this constitutes a hate speech. They are inciting violence towards the LGBTI community. They are leaders, what they say no matter how irrational, will be taken as an order to take action by some people.
Statement of the Coalition of African Lesbians: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Human Rights Council
Today is an historic day at the Human Rights Council where, for the first time in the United Nations, a panel on the experts report prepared by the Office of the High Commission on Human Rights: Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence against Individuals on the basis of their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The Report was mandated by the Council in June 2011 when the first Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, sponsored by South Africa and co sponsored by Brazil and other states was adopted.
In spite of the dramatic walkout of the OIC at the start of the Panel, the Council engaged in “business as usual”, which is how the Brazilian Ambassador described the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity when she asserted that the issue is the business of the Council as it is a human rights issue. For many of us as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people this is indeed business as usual and the realities because the human rights of LGBTI people is the business of the Council.