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Gays in Algeria Face Persecution in Fight for Rights 2016

| January 18th, 2017 | Comments Off on Gays in Algeria Face Persecution in Fight for Rights 2016

By Richard Ammon Updated January 2017   A near-unanimous Muslim population in Algeria makes the fight for rights of gays a dangerous place and struggle. It is a huge country about the size of Western Europe with most of it rural desert with widely scattered villages and towns, many far from the major urban centers of the country. There are only ten cities with a population of over 200,000, the largest being Algiers (almost 2 million), the capital. Boumerdas, Oran and Tebessa each have more than half a million people. Such large populations offer a degree of anonymity for LGBT citizens from prying eyes but not complete insulation. Arab families are traditionally adhesive and know one another’s public and private lives, so secrets are not always easily kept. Being LGBT is a ‘severe’ secret that even if known is kept deep in the closet. More recently brave rights activists

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Gay in Libya 2017–No Place, No Peace

| December 19th, 2016 | Comments Off on Gay in Libya 2017–No Place, No Peace

Intro: Libya is one of the most dangerous places on earth for a gay person. The country is an active war zone between Islamist coalitions (with several divisions) against the government coalitions–the Libyan National Army (land, sea and air forces) as well as other loose brigades. It is not incorrect to call Libya a multi-war zone between multiple armed forces. Add to this that all these armed troops and vigilantes are Muslims, ranging from moderates to extremists. Bottom line is that no one tolerates homosexuals and there are reports of summary executions by al-Quaeda and their alignments as well as torture by intolerant government troops.   By Richard Ammon January 2017   A gay refugee Khaleed from Libya has said “the issue of the many armed militias is one of the most urgent facing Libya’s new provisional government… this is the ‘biggest issue facing us. The second is building

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Gay Life in Angola is Mostly Hidden by Heterosexual Masks

| January 13th, 2016 | Comments Off on Gay Life in Angola is Mostly Hidden by Heterosexual Masks

Introduction A commentary into gay life in Angola where the social environment is toxic for LGBT people. Because they are an invisible population, gays are ignored in government health planning; “there are not enough gays to worry about” said one official. To cover their truth, many Angolan gays use heterosexual marriage as a way of avoiding harm: so gay life in Angola is mostly hidden by heterosexual masks. But of course once married many continue to have occasional or ongoing same-sex with others; long-term relationships exist but are kept very secret. Unfortunately, it is reported that gay male sex often does not involve the use of condoms. In Angola, a commonly-held assumption that only men with feminine mannerisms are homosexual means that many who have sex with other men can ‘pass’ and do not self-identify as gay. More recently, this was reported in Wikipedia: “LGBT rights in Angola have seen

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Tunisian LGBT Community Making Strides

| December 18th, 2015 | Comments Off on Tunisian LGBT Community Making Strides

  The first official LGBT advocacy group and gay pride parade seem promising, but discrimination and imprisonment are still real threats.   By Thessa Lageman  8 July 2015 There are about seven organisations in Tunisia that fight for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT), but you wouldn’t know it at first glance: only one of these organisations openly presents itself as such. “The other organisations didn’t have the courage to even try to get official recognition,” said 21-year-old law student Belhassen Azaiez with a smile, sitting in a smoky cafe in Tunis. His organisation Shams received official recognition last May as an advocacy group for sexual minorities. Other LGBT organisations claim to fight for human rights or for minorities in general, despite focusing exclusively on gay rights. “If we refer to ourselves as an LGBT organisation, we wouldn’t be able to do as much

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| June 9th, 2015 | Comments Off on tempost01

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Gay Malawi: Focused and Determined

| February 14th, 2015 | Comments Off on Gay Malawi: Focused and Determined

Gay Malawi Introduction: Despite it’s low profile on the world stage, the small southern African territory called Malawi contains a wondrous variety of scenery, tribal traditions, modern innovation and a nascent and determined gay organization focused around health education and human rights. Within this conservative homophobic culture LGB citizens have found effective ways of survival. By Richard Ammon Updated February 2015 Malawi is one of the smallest countries in Africa and is often considered one of the most impoverished countries in the world. But such a label is too simplistic and shallow for this complex culture of ancient tribal traditions, ambitious entrepreneurs and natural beauty, such as the enormous Lake Malawi (photo right). The label does not account for the rugged survival attitude among its citizens, certainly not it gay citizens “We do what we can to build an organization with little resources, and look what we have here.

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Being Gay in Algeria Today

| January 13th, 2015 | Comments Off on Being Gay in Algeria Today

Intro: Living their sexuality mostly in hiding, the gays of Algeria are cautiously more evident, but face a reactionary social mentality. The penal code severely condemns homosexuality so gays are faced with major difficulties for meeting or socializing. The Internet is helpful but finding privacy is a problem.   Source: Gay Maroc By Slimane September 13, 2010 Revised June 2015 [translation by F. Young] Algeria News & Reports Algeria Photo Galleries   Algiers With its suburbs, its minarets and its streets where pedestrians stroll by, an air of tranquility lives in this city bathed by the sea and the sun. It is 10 a.m. Salim, 25, a hairdresser who looks like a model, leaves his home on foot to go to work. A resident of the popular Badjarah neighbourhood East of Algiers, he is one of the gays that live in hiding. Although he smiles for his customers, he doesn’t

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Gay Life in Botswana 2011–and Beyond

| November 26th, 2014 | Comments Off on Gay Life in Botswana 2011–and Beyond
Botswana National Assembly Building

A first-person assessment of gay Botswana travel in the African nation, and a view of the LGBT community, economy and rights issues.

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Gay Botswana – An Historic Event Unfolds

| November 10th, 2014 | Comments Off on Gay Botswana – An Historic Event Unfolds
Botswana National Assembly Building

Intro: Peaceful Botswana in southern Africa is both modern-urban and simple-rural, rich and poor, prosperous and challenged, with both an anti-gay law and a playful assertive gay community the breathes freely. It’s a huge country with elephants, deserts, paved roads, a tolerant President and intolerant churches, a big university and various gay-friendly venues and many out, young and bold LGBTs. By Richard Ammon March 2011-November 2014 By coincidence I arrived in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, on a quiet yet historic day of human rights in Botswana: for the first time ever a law suit was filed against the government of Botswana claiming that the existing law criminalizing homosexual behavior (not ‘being’ homosexual) is unconstitutional. (photo right, parliament building). The suit was jointly filed by LeGaBiBo gay organization (Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana) and a Botswana human rights organization, Bonela (Botswana Network on Ethics, Laws and HIV/AIDS)who have

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Gay Egypt: President Al-Sisi is Worse For Gays Than Muslim Brotherhood

| August 3rd, 2014 | Comments Off on Gay Egypt: President Al-Sisi is Worse For Gays Than Muslim Brotherhood

Daily Beast looks into the LGBT community since Egypt has been headed by its third president in three years, Abdel-Fattah Sisi’. His election did not bode well for Egypt’s already nervous gay citizens who suffered under previous anti-gay leaders. Sisi was Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, as well as Minister of Defence so it’s no surprise to anyone that he has cracked down on dissidents, the press and the LGBT community.   Also see: Egypt Photo Galleries Gay Egypt News & Reports   June 28, 2014 The Daily Beast Cairo, Egypt The party at a villa in a western suburb of Cairo was in full swing when three armored police trucks quietly pulled up to the main gate. More than 300 men and women from the gay community had gathered in Kerdassa on the same day, November 4, that former President Mohamed Morsi of the puritanical Muslim Brotherhood first

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Gay Uganda: A Dangerous Place

| January 23rd, 2014 | Comments Off on Gay Uganda: A Dangerous Place

Dangerous liaisons: Meeting up with Uganda LGBT activists Sam Ganafa and Long Jones By JP Conly, RN January 23rd, 2014 Originally published i the San diego Gay and Lesbian News Before traveling to Uganda I heard about the shocking arrest of Sam Ganafa, an LGBT activist who is executive director of Spectrum Uganda Initiative and chairman of the Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG). Sam was someone I had been planning on connecting with to learn more about the plight of LGBT people in Uganda as well as learn about how HIV and AIDS is treated in the landlocked nation in East Africa. Several of my hospital co-workers, after hearing about Sam’s arrest, asked me not to travel to Uganda, because it is one of the most dangerous places in Africa for someone such as myself to travel. I had already made up my mind that the only way I would

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Uganda : Homophobic Law Passed

| December 27th, 2013 | Comments Off on Uganda : Homophobic Law Passed

How things quickly turned wrong in Uganda JP Conly December 27th, 2013 Originally published in the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News Since JP Conly returned home the Uganda Parliament voted, on 20 December 2013, to approve the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that creates harsh prison sentences for anyone convicted of being a “repeat offender” and sends people to jail for not reporting LGBT Ugandans to authorities. The shocking developments, conducted in secret without public notification and amid accusations that Parliament acted without a proper quorum, has shaken Conly to his very core, especially after he witnessed positive changes during his visit to Kampala. The title of my first story was written under the term “grateful” because gratitude is an essential part of my life . When I went to a Uganda, I went with optimistic eyes, which at times can be difficult when trying to share their experience through my eyes.

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Uganda: Grateful to Volunteer

| December 6th, 2013 | Comments Off on Uganda: Grateful to Volunteer

Grateful to volunteer in Uganda By JP Conly, RN December 12th, 2013 This is the first of three reports originally published in the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. (JP Conly, a nurse from San Diego, found clinic conditions to be minimal in Uganda and their need for our help) As a nurse and a man who has been a part of the LGBT community since I was 21, I was deeply moved and inspired to get involved with the activities of St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation (San Diego) and their work in Uganda. I was also motivated after meeting Bishop Christopher Senyonja ( in San Diego three years ago while he was touring the United States and fundraising for St. Paul’s Center in Kampala. After hearing Bishop Christopher and his story about how the marginalized and the LGBT community were being persecuted, I felt driven to help in

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Evolution of Kenya LGBT Rights and Spaces Since 2008.

| February 18th, 2013 | Comments Off on Evolution of Kenya LGBT Rights and Spaces Since 2008.

By David Kuria Founding Director, Gay and Lesbian Coalition Kenya (GALCK) August 2012 Here is update on the LGBT situation in Kenya for our LGBT community in recent years. I have focused on the broader picture of the movement and the social scene. Having been involved as the first director, of Galck, it is likely that I have presented a much more rosy picture than may be the actual case, though I tried to be as objective as possible. Introduction The Gay and Lesbian Coalition (GALCK) in their website ( say LGBT spaces and groups have expanded exponentially since 2008. GALCK is an umbrella organization bringing together a membership of six organizations including, ISHTAR MSM, Gay Kenya, Minority Women in Action, Transgender Education and Advocacy, Afra Kenya and PEMA Kenya. The latter is based in Mombasa – the Kenyan coastal town. Thus of the original nine members only three remain

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Tunisia, La Marsa & Gammarth Towns

| January 1st, 2013 | Comments Off on Tunisia, La Marsa & Gammarth Towns

La Marsa is an upscale suburban town north of the capital of Tunis, located on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a pleasant beach town and popular in the summer with many restaurants and a few hotels. It is also home to numerous affluent Tunisians and expats who enjoy the ambiance. I rented an apartment here during my visit and took the local TGM tram into Tunis each day; on the way the tram goes through the ancient town of Carthage. The next town north of La Marsa is a wealthy place called Gammarth, famous for the five-star hotels, fine beaches, the French war cemetery as well as destroyed mansions of the former corrupt president Ben Ali.  

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Tunisia, Sidi Bou Said Town

| December 31st, 2012 | Comments Off on Tunisia, Sidi Bou Said Town

Sidi Bou Said is a small suburban town near Tunis. The town itself is an attractive tourist location known for the extensive use of blue and white colors on buildings. Here is located the former palace of Rodolfe d’Erlanger, a wealthy French banker who built his manse overlooking the sea between 1909 and 1921. He named it Ennejma Ezzahra (sometimes spelled Nejma Ezzohara). The grand structure now houses the Centre des Musiques Arabes et Méditerranéennes, a music school. He helped to revive the musical genre known as ‘ma’luf’ during the 1920s. He transposed the Arabic musical scale to that of Western music, maintaining his own orchestra of Arab musicians to do so. He is also known for his six-volume work about the history of Arabic music. Rodolfe was an accomplished painter whose art works hang throughout the palace and in numerous museums. He lived from 1872 to 1932 and died

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Tunisia, Tunis World War II Cemeteries

| December 31st, 2012 | Comments Off on Tunisia, Tunis World War II Cemeteries

There are two war cemeteries in the Tunis area where the World War II dead are buried. One is American, in Carthage, and the other is French, in Gammarth. The Battle of Tunisia occurred from 17 November 1942 to 13 May 1943. Also called the Tunisia Campaign, it was a series of battles that took place in Tunisia during the North African Campaign of the Second World War, between Axis and Allied forces. The Allies consisted of British Imperial Forces, including Polish and Greek contingents, with American and French corps. British and Commonwealth losses amounted to 38,360 men; 6,233 killed, 21,528 wounded, and 10,599 missing. Free French losses accumulated to 19,439 men; 2,156 killed, 10,276 wounded, and 7,007 missing. American losses amounted to 18,221 men; 2,715 killed, 8,978 wounded, and 6,528 missing. Over 230,000 German and Italian troops were taken as prisoners of war, including most of the Afrika Korps.

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Tunisia, Carthage Ruins

| December 30th, 2012 | Comments Off on Tunisia, Carthage Ruins

Modern Carthage is an upscale suburb of Tunis, Tunisia, with a population of about 22,000. Ancient Carthage is believed to have been founded in the 8th century BC then destroyed by warfare with Rome in the 3rd Puni war (149 BC to 146 BC). It was rebuilt by Rome in the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD to become one of the great cities of the empire. After the fall of the Romans the Byzantines and Vandals ruled the city, eventually followed by the Arabs. The city has existed for nearly 3,000 years. The former magnificence of the city is hard to overstate.  

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Tunisia, Tunis Medina

| December 29th, 2012 | Comments Off on Tunisia, Tunis Medina

The medina (souq) marketplace is the ancient core of Tunis, since the 7th century. Narrow alleyways are lined with hundreds of tiny shops and stalls selling everything from ladies underwear to sweet pastries. Every corner is a different scene, from pizza bakeries to cafes with hookah pipes for rent. Its crowded, colorful and noisy. The main mosque is Zaytouna that dates from the 8th century. Some of the mosque’s columns were taken from the ruins of nearby Carthage, not an easy task since a single column weighs several tons. During the French occupation of Tunisia in the 19-20th centuries the city grew far beyond the medina and is now a modern city of 2.5 million people.  

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Tunisia, Bardo Museum

| December 28th, 2012 | Comments Off on Tunisia, Bardo Museum

The Bardo Museum in the capital city of Tunis contains the world’s largest collection of Roman mosaics as well as hundreds of Roman and Greek eras bronze and marble statuary. It was recently enlarged and renovated to better display the thousands of artifacts of Tunisia’s ancient history.    

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Gay Life in Tunisia

| December 26th, 2012 | Comments Off on Gay Life in Tunisia

Introduction There are countless reports from many Arab/Muslim societies about persecution, harassment or imprisonment of gay citizens, from Egypt to Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia where intolerance is the common rule. But Tunisia has a history of moderation and balance between Western and Muslim ideas and lifestyles. Indeed, I saw many Mercedes and BMWs and upscale Euro-style clothing and homes in Tunis. Ironically much of this happened under the 24-year governance of a corrupt and dictatorial president who was driven from office in early 2011 that started the infamous ‘Arab Spring.’ For this story I did not meet LGBT people who were living in fear or shame. This is not to suggest LGBT Tunisians are out and free. Most are not and they live within the confines and closets imposed by conservative Muslim dictates of modesty and discretion. The people I interviewed were fortunate not to be fearful in their

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For Gays and Lesbians Apartheid is Alive and Well

| October 28th, 2012 | Comments Off on For Gays and Lesbians Apartheid is Alive and Well

Last night on PBS a drama titled ‘Endgame’ was broadcast nationwide that focused on the intense and delicate negotiations in South Africa in the late 1980’s that brought down apartheid and brought a new dawn of democracy in that tormented country. It was a gripping drama of real life brought close up with cameras, script and fine acting by players who had not previously been privy to the dangers and risks of the political and murderous chess match. At any one time, any one of the historical figures could have been assassinated, including Nelson Mandela whose release from 27 years in prison was the keystone to the new order of life in South Africa. I couldn’t help thinking of the poignant parallel between the South African apartheid mentality that justified so much killing and violence, and the ongoing apartheid of today that continues against homo-affectional citizens around the world that

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Gay in Zambia

| September 22nd, 2012 | Comments Off on Gay in Zambia

By Linda_Villarosa September 22, 2012 Huffington Post Those of us who are black and gay approach Africa with deeply conflicted feelings. On a recent trip to Zambia, along with my point-and-shoot and anti-malaria medication, I packed equal parts pride and shame, curiosity and fear. Homosexuality is illegal in nearly 40 African countries, and in the harshest nations — including Sudan and parts of Nigeria — it remains punishable by death. Violence against LGBT people is common, including government-sanctioned beating, stoning and whipping. And in South Africa, the most progressive nation of the continent, lesbians are frequently the victims of brutal corrective rape, intended to “cure” them of their sexual feelings toward other women. Zambia, while not as transgressive or dangerous as other African countries, remains problematic. Being gay isn’t illegal, but homosexual acts between men are outlawed under the Zambian constitution. The day I arrived, a headline in the Zambia

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Gay Kenya Continues Out and Proud in 2012

| September 5th, 2012 | Comments Off on Gay Kenya Continues Out and Proud in 2012

Homosexuality in Kenya continues to be a controversial issue, but gay rights advocates continue their advocacy for equality and tolerance. The most vigorous organization is Gays and Lesbians Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) founded in 2004 which leads the struggle for gay Kenyans everywhere.   Evolution of LGBT Rights and Spaces since 2008 This report was composed by David Kuria (photo right), former longtime director of GALCK. Last year he resigned from that position to run for public office in the Kenyan senate. His first bid was unsuccessful, not surprising since he was the first openly gay person ever to run for parliament in Kenya. He is currently campaigning for office once again, hoping for victory in the March 2013 election. (Financial donations for his campaign are welcome.) The Gay and Lesbian Coalition – GALCK – in their website  say LGBT spaces and groups have expanded exponentially since 2008.   GALCK

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Gay Cruise Ship Forbidden Morocco Landing

| July 2nd, 2012 | Comments Off on Gay Cruise Ship Forbidden Morocco Landing

This is an outrageous and offensive event: Gay Cruise Ship Forbidden Morocco Landing This is clearly homophobia whipped up by local media hysteria, despite no official government ban. “Morocco’s Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad said no official decision had been made to prevent the ship from stopping in Morocco.” Too bad  the ship captain didn’t take a passenger vote on this. A landing could have caused a stir in port that might have awakened Morocco to its discriminatory policies–and awakened Holland American Cruise Lines to it’s inadvertent support of anti-gay governments. Refusing to land cruise ships in homophobic countries (especially in Africa and Caribbean) can mean the loss of big tourist dollars and force these regimes to reconsider their irrational and anti-human rights policies. Being gay IS, unfortunately,  political and we all need to push for equality, even when on holiday. We are always human and always feel the pain of

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