Ugandan LGBT Activist Honored on Capitol Hill
November 11, 2011 by Carolyn Simon, Deputy Director of Digital Media
Ugandan Frank Mugisha, who bravely risks his life as he works to defeat legislation in his country that would make homosexuality an offense punishable by death, was honored on Thursday as the first advocate for LGBT equality to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.
“It is very, very dangerous for us to do our work,” Mugisha told HRC staff during a 2010 visit to Washington, D.C. “I watch my back wherever I go.”
Along with the award, Mugisha will receive a financial boost and a six-year partnership in support of his work from the RFK Center for Human Rights.
Mugisha is the spokesman for Sexual Minorities Uganda, the country’s leading LGBT rights organization. LGBT Ugandans live in fear of beatings, arrests, blackmail and more, and they say that the situation worsened after the legislation was unveiled last year.
The bill was introduced shortly after three American fundamentalists visited the East African country, led a conference about what they called the “dangerous gay agenda,” and provided advice on making gay people straight. The fundamentalists also met with lawyers and government officials – some of whom went on to draft the legislation.
The bill, which had been shelved earlier this year, was recently reported to be under consideration again by the Ugandan Parliament.
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