To hear of human rights abuses of Uganda’s LGBTQ population is not new, sadly. Gay activist David Kato was the father of the Uganda’s LGBTQ rights movement. To many of his fellow countrymen Kato was a dead man walking once his homosexuality became public. The country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill dubbed “Kill the Gays bill” criminalizes same-sex relations. And depending on which category your homosexual behavior is classified as —”aggravated homosexual” or “the offense of homosexuality”—you’ll either received the death penalty or if you’re lucky life imprisonment.
Kato didn’t live to receive either punishment. On a list of 100 LGBTQ Ugandans whose names and photos were published in an October 2010 tabloid newspaper calling for their execution, Kato was murdered in January 2011.
Throughout the African continent there are stories of homophobic bullying, bashing and abuses of its LGBTQ population. None of us will forget Zimbabwe’s despot Robert Mugabe, who treated his LGBTQ citizens with torturous action, has yet to be brought to justice. Mugabe’s condemnation of his LGBTQ population is that they are the cause of Zimbabwe’s problems and he views homosexuality as an “un-African” and an immoral culture brought by colonists and practiced by only 'a few whites' in his country."
However, the one country you don’t expect to hear anti- LGBTQ rhetoric and human rights abuses from is South Africa.
South Africa is the first African country to openly support LGBTQ civil rights. In 2004 its Supreme Court ruled that the common-law definition of marriage included same-sex unions. And in 2005, South Africa’s Constitutional Court “made any inferior status imposed on same-sex partners unconstitutional.”
But South Africa has a serious problem with its LGBTQ population, and especially with lesbians.
Its method to remedy its problem with lesbian is “corrective rape.”
On any given day in South Africa lesbians are twice as likely to be sexually molested, raped, gang-raped than heterosexual women. A reported estimate of at least 500 lesbians is victims of “corrective rape” per year. And in Western Cape, a province in the south west of South Africa, a report put out by the Triangle Project in 2008 stated that as many as 86 percent of its lesbian population live in fear of being raped. And their fear is not unfounded.
“Lesbians get raped and killed because it is accepted by our community and by our culture” a South African man