The world listened last week as Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf defended her country’s laws that discriminate against its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex population. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, she spoke of preserving Liberia’s “traditional values” and said in part, “We like ourselves the way we are.”
It’s a sad sentiment I hear in my own country of Uganda: the idea that homosexuality is somehow un-African and foreign to our culture, an import of the West that must be stopped. But it is not African to restrict another’s freedom. It is not African to spread lies and dissent and urge brutality against others. And it is certainly not African to deny fellow citizens basic human rights. No, these are ideas introduced and fostered by our colonizers, not by our ancestors.
Read the rest of Frank Mugisha’s article for the Chicago Sun-Times here.
Frank Mugisha is the Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda and the 2011 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Laureate.