Top News Winter 2014

Over the past few months lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) human rights have been making headlines around the world. IGLHRC's staff of experts and our partners have been called upon by outlets and wire services like Al Jazeera America, the Atlantic, the Associated PressNational Public Radio (NPR), and the New York Times to share our perspective on recent developments. Below are highlights from this press coverage.

New York Times: Antigay Laws Gain Global Attention; Countering Them Remains Challenge

In March, Jessica Stern, IGLHRC's Executive Director commented: “What’s unique about this moment is the compassion and public attention there is at the global level,” referring to the attention new anti-gay laws in Russia, Nigeria and Uganda have received. The article, which discusses aid, diplomacy, and the United Nations' role in responding to these laws is available at the New York Times »

Al Jazeera America: America Tonight on the passing of Uganda's anti-gay law

On February 25, IGLHRC's Executive Director Jessica Stern was live on Al Jazeera America's America Tonight to discuss the passing of the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda with host Joie Chen. Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was also interviewed. Watch the segment in the video below.


Associated Press: Uganda President Signs Harsh Anti-gay Law

When Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-homosexuality bill on February 24, the Associated Press quoted IGLHRC's statement in their lead story: "Experience from other jurisdictions with similarly draconian laws, such as Nigeria or Russia, indicates that their implementation is often followed by a surge in violence against individuals thought to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The Ugandan government has not indicated any plans to counter such violence or to investigate potential allegations of abuse." Read the full story at the Associated Press »

New York Times: Nigeria Tries to 'Sanitize' Itself of Gays

In February, Dorothy Aken'Ova, executive director of Nigeria's International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (INCRESE), and member of IGLHRC's Africa Advisory board told the New York Times the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill has “..reawakened interest in communities to ‘sanitize,’ more or less, to talk about ‘moral sanitization’” in Nigeria. She added, “Where it was quiet before, it’s gotten people thinking, ‘Who is behaving in a manner that may be gay?’ It’s driven people into the closet.” Read the full article at the New York Times »

The Atlantic: How Sochi Became the Gay Olympics

In a discussion about the Winter Olympics in Sochi in January, Jessica Stern, IGLHRC's Executive Director told the Atlantic “the status of LGBT rights globally is schizophrenic,” adding “you don’t see a single trend anywhere you look.” In a lengthy discussion about the context of anti-gay laws around the world, Jessica also commented on the response of LGBT activists and her "fear...that the day after the Olympics concludes, the global attention will move on from Russia. And the laws are still in place, and people are still unsafe.” Read the full article at the Atlantic »

NPR All Things Considered: Uganda Passes Anti-Gay Bill That Includes Life In Prison

When it became clear that Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill would go to President Museveni for signing last December, National Public Radio's All Things Considered interviewed Jessica Stern, executive director of IGLHRC, Malika Zouhali-Worall, co-director of the documentary Call Me Kuchu, John Wambere, a Ugandan LGBT activist, and Frederick Golooba Mutebi, journalist with The East African about the implications of the bill. Jessica said "It's trying to make it impossible for people to have private lives. If you're perceived to be LGBT, no one's going to rent to you, for fear of their own criminal responsibility." She added, "So if this law is enacted in its current form, it's basically a homelessness sentence for LGBT Ugandans." Listen to the segment, or read a full transcript at NPR's Blog Parallels »

New Delhi Television: Americans criticise Indian Supreme Court's ban on gay sex​

When India's Supreme Court overturned the 2011 New Delhi High Court ruling, effectively reinstating Section 377 of India's Penal Code, Grace Poore, IGLHRC's Regional Program Coordinator for Asia and Thilaga Sulathireh, Co-founder of Kuala Lumpur-based Justice for Sisters, were in New York for a week of advocacy at the United Nations. NDTV interviewed Grace and Thilaga, both Malaysian, in a segment from New York. 

Thilaga told NDTV "The decision by the Delhi High Court in 2009 had set a good precedent not only for India but all post-colonial countries to decriminalize Article 377. We have used it for our own judicial review in Malaysia, it is pretty shocking for us and will have a huge impact not only on the LGBT discourse in India but all across Asia and the rest of the world."

Grace commented, "India sits on the Human Rights Council- that is a very important role it plays. What is India going to do now? Is India going to be making recommendations to other countries so they support LGBT rights and make sure discrimination ends? I would like India to do that and I am hoping the Indian government is not going to say that because of the Supreme Court we are not going to take a stand." Read the full article at NDTV »

Here and Now: The State Of Gay Rights Around The World

Marianne Mollmann, Director of Programs at IGLHRC went on air with WBUR, the Boston-based NPR affiliate to discuss the state of gay rights around the world on December 11, the day Indian's Supreme Court announced their decision on Section 377. In the interview Marianne discusses both positive and negative developments, as well as some of IGLHRC's work around the world. Listen to the show, or read a full transcript at WBUR »