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Rev Jide Interviewed In New York

Friday, 30 January 2009

Interview with Professor Anene Ejikeme on Homosexuality in Nigeria


Anene Ejikeme is an Assistant Professor of African History at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. She did her dissertation work on the history of Catholic women in Onitsha, an important market town in Nigeria. She is interested in religion and religious identities. She herself attended a Catholic convent school for girls in Nigeria.


http://www.executionchronicles.org/close-up.htm




How did you get interested in the subject of homosexuality in Nigeria?

I’ve always been interested in religion. I did my dissertation on Catholic women, so I had a research interest in religion. In Nigeria, there are a lot of new religions—especially new evangelical churches. So when I heard about a new church with an openly homosexual pastor I was completely surprised. Nigeria is a pretty homophobic country. When I spoke to people in Nigeria, almost no one had heard about this group. Although some people clearly knew about it, that’s how I heard about it, none of my contacts in the media, my friends, or my family had heard about this church. In the end I was able to find the group and the head of the church, by doing a simple online search. So I contacted the head of the church, Reverend Jide, and asked if I could meet with him and his church members. He sent me his contact information, and we communicated by telephone and email.


How is homosexuality generally viewed in Nigeria?

People have the perception that homosexuality is a foreign import. The people who speak about it speak out against it. That’s what you read in the media. That’s the public position. But what intrigued me about these statements is that the people who speak out against homosexuality self-identify as Muslims or Christians or are leaders of those communities. I find it interesting that those who speak out against what they see as a foreign import are themselves proponents of foreign imports—since both Christianity and Islam are foreign to Nigeria.


The homophobia in Nigeria is quite widespread. In the South, which where I’m from, it is often seen as something brought by foreigners, by Europeans, but it is also seen as something that Muslims do—something that is alien. This is especially true in the Southeast, which is largely Christian. Leaders of the church say homosexuality is un-African. Of course, there is a certain irony to that since Christianity is also foreign. They see Christianity as the truth, so it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

In Nigeria I would say most homosexuals are not out. Certainly that was the case with the people I met. I think people are afraid. A handful of them were out. I was actually really surprised to find some who were quite flamboyant—they had arrived at church dressed very colorfully.

Tell us about the Reverend and what he did in this town?

The reverend comes from a very well known and distinguished family. They are known as nationalist and religious leaders—a bit like saying the name “Bush” in America. Rev. Jide’s own father is a minister. Reverend Jide was married, had children and was living the life of a minister in London. Then it came out that he had had a relationship with a man. He was publicly outed, kicked out of his church, his marriage dissolved and he became depressed and suicidal. His relationship with his father is very complicated. All of this happened in London. This is someone, you have to understand, who grew up not just in the church but as a child of a minister. It was devastating.


One day, he was invited to an inclusive church, I believe, by South African friends. Here was an entirely different church—his own church had rejected him and here was a church that welcomed him… and welcomed everybody. Eventually, he was accepted into this church. They accepted his ordination and recognized him as a pastor. He joined that church for some time and then decided to return to Nigeria to open a church, believing that he could be of service to many people, knowing there must be many people like him (i.e., homosexuals,) undoubtedly, who had no one to minister to them. So he went to Nigeria and started a church: The Church of Rainbow, which was affiliated with the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). The Church of Rainbow was based in Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria.

Tell us about the Church itself.

The church services were held once every two weeks in a space they rented from a local hotel. They didn’t have the money to buy or construct a building of their own, which was a function of their limited resources. They simply couldn’t afford to meet every week because they couldn’t afford to rent the hall that often. I was able to speak with the workers at the hotel. That was quite interesting. It was clear that they did not approve of this kind of church. But they were paying customers and the hotel welcomed the income. The staff was very unhelpful whenever there was a problem. Reverend Jide and some of his close associates were afraid they would soon be losing that space. Indeed this was not the first space they rented or that they had lost, either because of cost or bigotry. It is part of the harassment; you pay your money and are still unwelcome. At the same time, I understand the position of the hotel. Clearly, the presence of the church service, with the 60 or so people who look a bit different, exposes the hotel to attack as well.


When I was visited, there was only one other woman and the rest of the congregants were men. They came from far and wide. Most people came from Lagos but some people came from farther afield in Nigeria. What I found was the atmosphere was very joyous. I spoke to several of the church members afterward. Once every two weeks, was for all of them, a major event on their calendars. There were no heterosexual men at this service, but the sole woman was straight. When I asked her why she chose to attend this church, she told me that she had been to several others but that this was the church were she felt happiest. At this particular church, the talk was all about love. In other churches she visited and even joined, the pastors were all talking about hell.

What did you learn about the problems faced by members of the church?

At the church, I interviewed a number of people who had been attacked. The attacks could be verbal or physical. In addition, many people had been kicked out of their homes by parents, although not all. I recall one church member who said his mother was very supportive of him, but most of the stories were not like that. I remember the story of one violent attack quite vividly. A young man at the church explained that he had been attacked at a university. The assault was so brutal he had to be hospitalized. He was just visiting the university. He didn’t know anyone and had just arrived in town. A group of boys yelled homophobic epithets at him. He didn’t’ know how they identified him, but they beat him up and took all his money. They just left him there, on the street. Fortunately, a young woman saw him, took him hospital and gave him some money so he could return home.


The government itself is very homophobic and has tried to pass laws to criminalize homosexuality. There are no national statistics on the subject. So the attacks that I know about are those that make it into the media. Rev. Jide raises money for the legal defense of people who have been sent to jail for such things as impersonating a woman, for conducting a same-sex marriage or other such charges. Of course, he’s not the only person working in this area. There are others. There are no clear records in Nigeria of assaults on homosexuals. Whatever is known is recorded by individuals and groups. It is not at all systematic. It’s difficult to get good statistics on anything in Nigeria, not just anti-homosexual attacks.


What happened to the church ultimately?

They are not meeting regularly right now. Rev. Jide had to flee because they were outed in the newspapers. Once that happened, several individuals from the congregation were attacked and they had to stop meeting. Reverend Jide is one person who had spoken out publicly against a law proposed to criminalize homosexuality and other issues concerning gays in Nigeria. He is now in the UK and maintains a very active presence on the Internet.


What effect did this church have on the community?

This is a civil rights issue for them. I believe that for Rev Jide and some of his members the aim was always two-fold: to provide services and a community to those who are isolated and to get people talking about these issues more openly. I think they definitely saw the mission of this church as a part of a struggle for civil rights.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Nigeria: Enough Hatred in the Name of God!




Nigeria: Enough Hatred in the Name of God!
Metropolitan Community Churches Urge Overturn of Same Gender Prohibition Bill


“Enough hatred and oppression in the name of God! Enough laws to prohibit love and commitment! Enough demonising lesbian and gay people who seek to live whole and holy lives! Prohibition of commitment and stability in gay and lesbian relationships will only undermine the stability and democracy of Nigeria and the credibility of religion.”
- Bishop Glenna Shepherd


21 January 2009, Cape Town- Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) in Africa urge Nigerian President Musa Yar’dua to reject “The Same Gender Prohibition Bill 2008” passed in the Lower House of Parliament on Thursday, 15 January 2009.



We believe this bill will disastrously endorse a climate of homophobia and escalating hate crime against gay and lesbian Nigerian citizens, making them among the most vulnerable in the world to human rights violations, rape, severe abuse and extortion with no recourse to justice.



“Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) citizens of Nigeria, both at home and abroad live in fear each day. The idea of the Same Gender Prohibition Bill 2008 is ridiculous, especially in a democratic nation. This is not just based on religious dogma and cultural ignorance, it is based on the vilification and dehumanisation of respectful people. Nigerian LGBT people are rightful citizens and deserve protection from all forms of criminality,” reports the Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay, Pastor of House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church in Lagos.


We do not believe that the voices of House Members who spoke for the bill with religious conviction represent the breadth of understanding on issues of sexuality and family existing within Christianity, Islam and other faiths extant in Nigeria.



“Much discrimination exists and is promoted because of misunderstanding of the scriptures. Often these distortions and the passions generated by them are passed along by well-meaning people of deep faith. Such is the case in the recent citation of 'God's design' in the Nigerian prohibition against same-gender unions. I call on Nigerian legislators who care about the message of Jesus to open hearts and minds and examine that message again; you won't find license to discriminate against lesbian and gay people there,” writes Bishop Glenna Shepherd, MCC Elder serving Africa and Western Europe.



Equal human rights and freedom from persecution are not only humanist and democratic values, they are necessary conditions for the human spirit to thrive. When either is absent, a society foments the conditions for untold suffering among its own people, questioning its commitment to a democratic state for all constituents, including those in the minority.



Sharon Cox, MCC in Africa Development Worker, commenting on the bill says,“Every person is created in the image of God and is loved by their Creator irrespective of their sexual orientation. Same Sex Marriage is not and should not be a religious debate in parliament, it is a question of equality and human rights.”



We respectfully call on:
+ The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
+ The National House of Assembly (especially the Committees on Human Rights, and the Committee on Judiciary)
+ The Ministry of Justice
+ The Joint Committee on Human Rights, Justice and Women Affairs.
+ And The National Human Rights Commission,
to reverse this harmful legislation and begin reparation by de-criminalising same gender relationships, offering equal protections to Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.



We also call on:
+ The President of Nigeria to ensure that the human rights of LGBTI individuals and human rights defenders in Nigeria are not violated, and to openly denounce and condemn the continuous hounding of the LGBTI community, its friends and families, and human rights defenders.
+ The Nigerian Police and Central Intelligence Department (CID) to protect LGBTI individuals from all forms of violence and abuse.
+ The media to uphold the ethics and tenets of responsible media practice.
With such swift action, we have faith that LGBTI Nigerians will begin to be valued within civil society and allowed to positively contribute to the future of this democracy. We offer our statement in solidarity with all who have been marginalized, praying for a genuine change of heart in this matter to alleviate the suffering caused by prejudice and the enactment of unjust legislation.



-An Open Statement from the Clergy and Congregations of Metropolitan Community Churches in Africa (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe).



Contacts:
The Reverend Elder Glenna Shepherd, Region 4 MCC Bishop Serving Africa and Western Europe
revglennashepherd@mccchurch.net

Sharon Cox, MCC in Africa Development Worker
sharon@goodhopemcc.org

The Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay, Pastor, House of Rainbow MCC, Lagos, Nigeria
revjide@yahoo.com

The Reverend Pressley Sutherland, Pastor, Good Hope MCC, Cape Town, South Africa
pressley@goodhopemcc.org

Friday, 16 January 2009

2010 MCC General Conference, MEXICO June 28th to July 2nd








A Very Special Invitation from the Moderator of MCC

http://generalconference.mccchurch.org/

Dear Friends and Allies,

Can you believe it? We thought three years would be a long time until the next General Conference, but as of today, it is just around the corner.
This historic conference will be our first in a Spanish-speaking country, our first in Latin America. Our sisters and brothers from Latin America are so thrilled and honored to offer their “Bienvenidos!”



Our theme is “Imagine,” taken from Ephesians 3: 20 (Look it up!)



God wants to empower MCC in more ways than we could ask or imagine.
Imagine, being with thousands of MCC’ers, friends and guests. Hearing amazing preachers, incredible music. Being challenged about our global mission of “tearing down walls and building up hope.” Welcoming people from around the globe. Making important decisions together, as a family. Celebrating each other at our awards banquet, dancing, relaxing by the pool. Learning from experts in and outside of MCC about program and ideas that will revolutionized your church and ministry. Being inspired about the future.


And, having more fun than anyone could imagine at a church conference!
This is no ordinary conference – if you have been to one before, you know what I mean. If you have not, make up your mind now to be there in 2010. The Holy Spirit has a date with us in Mexico. Come to worship, heal, learn, and open yourself up to all that God wants to do in your life, and the life of your church.


Gracia y Paz,
Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson


Moderator


and the General Conference Host Steering Committee:Carlos Chavez, Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Jennifer Justice, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo, Bryan Parker, Lewis Reay, Troy Sanders, Rev. Elder Glenna Shepherd, Rev. Gavin Ward, Marsha Warren

Thursday, 15 January 2009

House Of Rainbow on You Tube

Please Subscribe to our online video messaging and listen to life changing messages with Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, founding Pastor of House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church Lagos Nigeria at http://www.youtube. com/HouseOfRainbow

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Important Announcement


Subject; Discussion on Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity in Nigeria.


Date; 18th March 2009,

Time; 4pm to 7pm.


Location To Be Announced

Contact Chibundu at chibundu12@yahoo.com, to find out more and register your interest to take part. Please pass on to your friends, allies and network.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

I Cry Aloud to God by Rev. Pressley Sutherland


I Cry Aloud to God, Psalm 77:1-4, by Rev Pressley Sutherland
http://www.goodhopemcc.org/ghmcc/content/view/490/163/
A prophetic exhortation about House Of Rainbow MCC Lagos Nigeria

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that I may be heard.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Sovereign;
In the night my hand is stretched out without wearying.
My soul refuses to be comforted.
I think of God, and I moan; I meditate, and my spirit faints. Selah
You keep my eyelids from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak…
Psalm 77. 1-4


“Pastor Pressley, things are bad here…” Those were the words I had both expected and dreaded to hear from my friend Reverend Jide Macaulay. From the time he went home to Lagos, Nigeria to organise House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church, I had felt like a family member was in a combat zone. I said a silent prayer of thanksgiving as I listened to Jide’s voice. He was shaken, but physically unharmed. It transpired that Jide was in hiding and in need of refuge. Members of House of Rainbow had fled two by two throughout the city after receiving a tip that kill men and officers were on the way to their meeting place. They left in haste, leaving the space prepared for Sunday worship--a full cup for communion; a paten of bread for sharing.


House of Rainbow members have been the victims of an egregious and sustained media campaign exploiting their inclusiveness. Undercover reporters deceived the church by introducing themselves as members of the rainbow community seeking an affirming church. They were welcomed and loved by Jide and the congregation. In return for their kindness, these reporters secretly wrote and published a series of articles that were sensationalist and reckless. My colleague was referred to as ‘the so called’ Reverend, and incendiary language such as ‘evil’, ‘abomination’, ‘un-African’, ‘sodomite’ and ‘sign of the end times’ was used by pundits, bloggers and religious leaders to slander the good work of Jide and House of Rainbow. Photographs from birthday parties the reporters had attended were published, wrecking the lives of several young people, making them homeless and vulnerable to abusive attacks in the streets and markets of Lagos. The papers continued to be self-congratulatory, claiming they had closed House of Rainbow. Because my friend had to hide from their incited violence, they declared that his behaviour was an admission of guilt. These journalists published Rev. Jide’s home address (which was robbed that night), listed names of his family members, and began a public relations assault on his father’s Bible University, which has no formal links to House of Rainbow. Lives were nearly destroyed and vulnerable people are suffering. In a proudly Christian city, the opiate of self-righteousness took effect with disastrous results. Cry aloud, Body of Christ, this story is worth our tears and reflection.

Sometimes, in Christian cultures, it is as if the events recorded in the New Testament had never happened. People forget about the life-giving, graceful message of Christ. Instead, we revert to practicing a scapegoating piety where we think it pleases God to cast out people of different perspectives living in our communities. Minorities and disempowered people have traditionally born the brunt of such pious violence. Please hear me, my fellow spiritual travellers, the time for crucifixions is over. Crucifying lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inclusively minded people is a New Testament abomination for our time. Jesus unambiguously demonstrated that the era for casting out and stoning others is over. His crucifixion was to end all crucifixions, not create a church with blood on its hands.

When it is unsafe for our friends to cry aloud to God as the Psalmist does, we who can must lift our voices and cry along with them. There is an image in scripture of the people of God as Rachel, crying for her children with no one to comfort her. The harsh reality of religiously condoned violence and prejudice is that there have been times in every human rights struggle when local religion has suppressed the voices of those seeking dignity and freedom. It doesn’t have to be this way. Historically, local religion has also shown the capacity to stand bravely with visionaries and outcasts until the casting out ceases, whatever the cost. We could be living out the best of our spiritual heritage instead of the worst. In a post-crucifixion world, we are responsible for working out our life’s purpose with a belief in grace and an attitude of care and generosity. It is not our calling to be judge and jury of the worthiness of our neighbours who cause us no harm. Christ’s harshest criticism was of those who would condemn others in the name of God, especially if the Spirit was doing a new work in their lives. I was in Lagos in January 2007, and I stand as witness to a beautiful and tender new work of the Spirit alive in the ministries of House of Rainbow.

As I reflect upon recent events in Lagos, I am reminded of the night of the last Passover meal that Jesus shared with his friends. What felt like an ending became a new beginning. From that time forward, people would gather around the cup and bread, telling the story of how Love was healing the world in the midst of fear and violence, carrying the promise of Christ to each new generation. But on the night Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, I wonder if the original communion cup was left behind in the panic? If so, what happened to it? Perhaps, through a mystery of faith, that cup is the same one waiting today on a makeshift altar in an abandoned room in Lagos--waiting for the beloved community to return, waiting to heal and bring forgiveness, crying out to God for her children. Did the kill men, officers, or robbers notice the cup and bread when they got there? If they did, could they sense the cup crying for them too?

“This is my body broken for you,
My blood shed as a new covenant of forgiveness.
As you do to the least of these, so you do to me.”

The cup of communion cries out for us to value righteousness and justice rooted in compassion. Vigilante justice is not justice, it is rooted in the belief that might equals right, which we know is not true. Today, I cry aloud to God with Rev. Jide and House of Rainbow; with disappearing and executed young gay and lesbian leaders in parts of the Middle East; with women-loving-women raped and murdered in South African townships and abroad. Today, I cry aloud to God for my own ignorance and fear of difference, change, and new scriptural understandings. And I cry aloud for a broken communion. How many times will the Body of Christ need to be broken before we learn to be merciful?

I believe that Rev. Jide and House of Rainbow MCC will not only survive to worship another day, but will thrive when ‘this too shall pass.’ They carry within their hearts a Spirit-given vision of a more inclusive Lagos and Nigeria, and this vision has wings. It is part of a distinguished global Christian renewal movement toward greater openness and understanding of diversity. House of Rainbow is a new work of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. UFMCC began as a group of 12 people in Los Angeles, USA in 1968, becoming an international fellowship within three years. The Spirit alighted like a spark in the midst of marginalised people throughout the world, and they began to gather in hopeful and visionary ways to live out a calling to Christian spirituality, inclusive community, and social justice. UFMCC does not set up missions as denominations did in the colonial and evangelical past. Our fellowship has grown by invitation and local initiative. An open communion remains the defining practice wherever MCCers worship.

My prayer today is that religious leaders across the spectrum of ideologies will decry acts of vigilantism and reckless media practices that endanger others, especially when dogmatic differences are at the heart of the situation. Perhaps the saddest point of reflection on the situation in Lagos is that no local religious leader has spoken out to stop the escalation. There are differing opinions when it comes to the ethics of sexuality, but surely we can find common ground in the belief in mutual dignity and the right to live without fear of violence. To understand why people of minority sexualities and genders would risk their lives to worship, one would need to understand the passion with which we value an open communion. The cup that cries aloud for her children is the ancestral voice of the suffering Christ. From this cup of bloodshed and forgiveness, we hear the cries of all who have been kept from the table before, as well as the lament of all who mistakenly became a stumbling block for others. An open communion celebration reminds us to remember the mercies shown to us in the past, while charging us to embody the breadth of Christ’s Love so that all who are thirsty may come and drink. It is the best that we have to offer one another. Cry aloud, Nigeria and all countries, your rainbow sons and daughters are bringing you a precious gift. May our world be blessed in receiving them.

God, teach us mercy along the way to understanding. Amen.

Friday, 9 January 2009

SENEGAL; Free AIDS Activists


For Immediate Release

Senegal: Free AIDS Activists
Eight-Year Sentences in Threatening Conditions for 9 Accused of ‘Indecent and Unnatural Acts’


(New York, January 9, 2009) – The sentencing in Dakar on January 6, 2009 of nine men who were involved in HIV-prevention work, on charges of “indecent and unnatural acts” and “forming associations of criminals,” shows how laws against homosexual conduct damage HIV- and AIDS-prevention efforts as well as the work of human rights defenders, Human Rights Watch said today.

“These charges will have a chilling effect on AIDS programs,” said Scott Long, director of Human Rights Watch’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights program. “Outreach workers and people seeking HIV prevention or treatment should not have to worry about police persecution. Senegal should drop these charges and repeal its sodomy law.”

HIV and AIDS advocates in Senegal report that the ruling has produced widespread panic among organizations addressing HIV and AIDS, particularly those working with men who have sex with men and other marginalized populations.

These nine men apparently were arrested merely on suspicion of engaging in homosexual conduct. In that case, international human rights provisions mandate their immediate release. So long as they remain detained – given the general climate of hostility against men perceived to engage in homosexual conduct and the risk of violence against them – Senegalese authorities should ensure their safety by separating them from other prisoners, if necessary. The authorities must also ensure that the men receive any necessary medical care, including antiretroviral therapy.

The men were detained on December 19, 2008, after several police officers burst into the private residence of an HIV outreach worker some miles outside Dakar at 11 p.m. and arrested all nine men in the house. The police confiscated condoms and lubricants – tools used for HIV-prevention work. The police forced several of the men to disclose family members’ phone numbers and threatened to inform their families. Sources told Human Rights Watch that the men were beaten in detention, which would constitute a significant violation of Senegal’s international human rights obligations.

The men were charged with violating article 319.3 of Senegal’s penal code, which provides that “whoever commits an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years.” Reports received by Human Rights Watch indicate that the men were not engaged in any activity considered criminal under Senegalese law.

At the trial, prosecutors apparently used the materials found in the house that are standard HIV-prevention tools used in outreach work as evidence of homosexual conduct, for which the men received the maximum five-year sentence. They were also found guilty of “criminal association” in violation of article 238 of the penal code, permitting the judge to add three years to their five-year term.

“Senegal’s sodomy law invades privacy, criminalizes health work, justifies brutality, and feeds fear,” said Long. “This case shows why it is time for the sodomy law to go.”

The men’s arrest and detention violates article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the right to liberty and security of person and rights against arbitrary detention. Senegal ratified the ICCPR in 1978, without reservations. Criminal trials under article 319.3 of the penal code violate Senegal’s treaty commitments. Senegal should repeal article 319.3, which also severely hampers HIV/AIDS-prevention and education efforts, barring large populations from access to treatment and care.

The men were arrested only days after Senegal served as the host for the 15th International Conference on AIDS and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) in Africa (ICASA). Presentations at this conference pointed out the apparent contradiction in some countries, such as Senegal, which target HIV/AIDS-prevention efforts at populations of men of who have sex with men but continue to criminalize same-sex relations. Advocates working in HIV and AIDS prevention point out that such an approach necessarily drives the targeted populations underground and mitigates the efficacy of HIV intervention efforts.

Article 7 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders specifically provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to develop and discuss new human rights ideas and principles and to advocate their acceptance.” The report of the special representative of the secretary-general on human rights defenders to the UN General Assembly specifically identifies human rights defenders from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities as being at particular risk and has called for greater state vigilance in protecting their rights.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which authoritatively interprets the ICCPR and evaluates compliance with its provisions, found in the 1994 case of Toonen v. Australia that laws criminalizing consensual homosexual conduct among adults violate the ICCPR’s protections. According to UNAIDS data, at least 5 to 10 percent of HIV infections worldwide occur through sex between men, though this figure varies considerably by region. Laws criminalizing consensual sexual conduct drive these vulnerable populations underground and permit gross violations of the fundamental rights to life, freedom of expression and association, and health.

For more of Human Rights Watch’s work on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/category/topic/lgbt-rights

For more of Human Rights Watch’s work on HIV/AIDS and human rights, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/topic/health/hiv/tb

For more information, please contact:
In New York, Scott Long (English): +1-212-216-1297; or +1-646-641-5655 (mobile)
In New York, Joseph Amon (English): +1-917-519-8930 (mobile)
In Brussels, Reed Brody (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese): +32-2-737-1489; or +32 -498-625786 (mobile)