Servicing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community

OUT provides direct health services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, MSM, sex workers, and injecting drug users, including HIV testing, counselling, treatment and general lifestyle advice and support.

OUT has been in existence for more than 21 years and is dedicated to the building of healthy and empowered LGBT communities in South Africa and internationally, while reducing hetrosexism and homophobia in society.

‘LOVE NOT HATE’ PROGRAMME CONDEMNS THE PASSING OF THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL IN UGANDA

These NGOs – OUT (Pretoria), Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (Johannesburg), Forum for the Empowerment of Women (Johannesburg), Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre, Pietermaritzburg Gay and Lesbian Network and Triangle Project (Cape Town) – collaborate on the Love not Hate programme addressing hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in South Africa.

While anal sex was already illegal in Uganda, with penalties including life imprisonment, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill also extends the ban to any kind of same-sex sex – including lesbianism – and punishes repeat “offenders” and attempts by same-sex couples to marry with life imprisonment.

In addition, anyone who “aids, abets [or] counsels” any gay person and anyone who rents a house or room to a gay person could also be sentenced to seven years in jail. The Bill further includes criminal penalties of five to seven years in prison for anyone who “promotes” homosexuality.

South Africa offers constitutional protection on the basis of sexual orientation and it has gone a long way in establishing dignity and equality for all in South Africa.

Dawie Nel, the Director of OUT, notes: “Based on the South African Constitution, the South African Government needs to speak out and take a leadership role in addressing homophobia on the continent. It has national and international obligations to do so. We can’t allow governments, possibly for their own cheap political gains, to endanger the human rights of LGBTI people or anyone else for that matter.”

The Love not Hate programme calls on the South African Government to:

• as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), to engage in “constructive dialogue and consultation for the enhancement of understanding and the promotion of all human rights” (HRC Resolution 119/33). This includes the rights of LGBTI persons and the South African Government should urgently convene regional forums on addressing discrimination against LGBTI people

• enter into bi-national dialogue with the Ugandan Government on the need for legal protection and social programmes to address discrimination against LGBTI people. The Government must be public about its efforts to conduct such dialogues

• call on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to condemn the adoption of the Bill, as it violates numerous rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, including the right to association and freedom of expression.

The Love not Hate programme will make contact with the South African Government to ensure that needed actions are undertaken.
ENDS

For more information please contact Dawie Nel on 012-430 3272 / neld@out.org.za.

The Love not Hate programme
The programme started in 2013 and is a collaboration between OUT (Pretoria), Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (Johannesburg), Forum for the Empowerment of Women (Johannesburg), Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre, Pietermaritzburg Gay and Lesbian Network and Triangle Project (Cape Town). The aim is to address hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. A total of 90 hate crime cases are managed by these organisations every year, including provision of legal, psychosocial and medical support to survivors of LGBTI-related hate crimes; monthly community outreach activities; training of mainstream facilities in LGBTI issues; and advocacy activities with the South African Government.

Services
Have you been threatened, hit, raped or had your property damaged or stolen because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)? Then you have been a victim of a hate crime.
OUT offers exciting training to mainstream service providers and other interested parties. The training assists individuals to understand themselves as sexual beings.
Currently OUT distributes safer sex packs to a range of venues in Tshwane that are utilised by gay men and lesbian women. These packs also include responsible sex messaging, appropriate barrier methods and lube.
OUT's Engage Men’s Health project offers free and confidential sexual health services to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).