2nd LGBTI/SOGI HUMAN RIGHTS CONSULTATION

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DECEMBER 13th, 2010 - 9:00AM-5:00 PM - 777 UNITED NATIONS PLAZADear Past and Future Consultation Attendees, Hello, my name is Ryan Ubuntu Olson and I am the new LGBT Program’s Officer here at the UU-UNO. As many of you know, after the last consultation the group had planned on reconvening again sometime in the fall. On behalf of a small working group for a second consultation, we are happy to announce that we have officially decided on the date, time and place for our next consultation, December 13th, 2010 from 9-6:00 PM at 777 United Nations Plaza. Participants will be asked to each submit $20 for cost of food. We hope that each of you will be able to come again to our experience. We hope to explore further our work in countering the homophobia that is quickly spreading throughout the world, particularly in regions like Africa and the Middle East. We also hope to explore more opportunities to combine our religious/spiritual realms with our secular realms and see what new, innovative ways we might be able to raise our voices together and support human rights defenders on the ground throughout the world. We have chosen this particular date for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the availability of space. Also, during this time, there will be several other events held at and around the UN commemorating International Human Rights Day. There will be two main events on Thursday the 9th, and Friday the 10th that discuss LGBT Human Rights and Human Rights Defenders. And then on Monday will be our consultation. Also, we are honored and privileged to be graced with the presence of three frontline advocates from both Uganda and Kenya who will be featured at the consultation. We have Bishop Christopher Senjonjo and Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, Frank Mugisha from Uganda to offer their insights and updates on what is going on in Uganda. And we also have the Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya,David Kuria Mbote. Please make time to attend this very important consultation where we hope to build on our previous consultation with updates on what has happened between June and December, come up with action steps, and a reporting mechanism for ourselves to continue this very important work. Thank you for your time, your heart and your dedication. We deeply appreciate every single person’s contribution to this work and we hope that this consultation will serve as a continuation of your work. Respectfully, 2nd LGBTI-SOGI Human Rights Consultation Working Group Rev. Al Ogle – Integrity USA Ann Craig – GLAAD Bruce Knotts – UU-UNO Rev. Pat Bumgarnder - MCC Ryan Ubuntu Olson- UU-UNO

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo
Integrity Uganda
Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo is an outspoken advocate for human rights. Bishop Christopher served as a bishop in the Anglican Church of Uganda from 1974 to 1998. As a Bishop and ally to the LGBTI community, he began counseling young gay men years ago. After a few meetings, the group decided that it was important to start a support group, and so they started Integrity Uganda. In March 2001, the Anglican Church of Uganda denounced Integrity Uganda and Bishop Christopher was vehemently attacked personally for his support of the group. He received death threats which prompted him to flee to the U.S. for sanctuary where he was taken in for 6 months. Bishop Christopher has continued to be a voice of reason amidst the seemingly chaotic debates surrounding the “anti-homosexuality bill” in Uganda. His dedication to this cause, especially as a straight ally, is what is needed most for Ugandan’s on the ground and we are all called to honor his life and the legacy he is creating for himself.

Frank Mugisha,
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)
Frank Mugisha currently serves as the Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, or SMUG. Mugisha has been instrumental in helping to lead the fight against the infamous “ anti-homosexuality bill”. Frank has been listed in a Ugandan paper as the “Top 10 Homo’s”, prompting threats against his life and placing him in grave danger. Yet, up against these odd’s Mugisha has continued to press for peace and security for LGBTI people throughout his country . Mugisha visited the United States last year and met with several key stakeholders to help the work being done in Uganda, including an appearance on CNN. Mugisha returns to the United States to continue his efforts to shed light on the events that are unfolding in Uganda, including a recent Rolling Story article which published the names and photos of “100 Ugandan Homo’s: Hang Them”. As a dedicated advocate for Human Rights, Mugisha has demonstrated himself over and over again to be a fearless dedicated man, who deserves our attention and respect.

David Kuria Mbote,
Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya
David Kuria Mbote is the Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya. David was a part of a dedicated group of individuals who wanted to stand up against homophobia throughout Kenya. These individuals decided it was important to come together to work towards their common interests, and through this coalition have had many successes in advancing a greater cultural climate for LGBTI individuals in Kenya. While there are still many daily threats against the LGBTI community of Kenya, the work of GALCK has done many things to work towards equality and fairness in the country. David has put himself in the public eye, standing up for LGBTI people of Kenya on a daily basis, choosing to be visible in a time and space where to be visible is to be targeted and shamed. For his visibility, David has received international recognition both positive and negative. David was personally targeted by an Evangelical group out of the US, ProjectSEE which created flyers with David’s picture and personal contact information on it which was then sent to local churches in Kenya and spread throughout the country. David also has served on a panel in Vienna at the 2010 World AIDS conference. Through it all, David remains a vital voice in East Africa for LGBTI Human Rights and is stopping through New York on his way to an HIV/AIDS conference in Washington, DC.

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