CAISO released the following statement yesterday:
CAISO stands with human rights advocates of all stripes across the Commonwealth and the world in issuing a call to Commonwealth Chairs Ugandan President Museveni and our own Prime Minister Patrick Manning:
We urge them to use Trinidad & Tobago’s shores to speak out forcefully against legislation introduced by a member of the Ugandan Parliament that would deprive all gays and lesbians and people with HIV of the core benefits of citizenship. We urge President Museveni to bring to defeat the bill which would prescribe life imprisonment for consensual sex, and which singles out lesbians and gays with HIV for death if they have sex, even with a partner to whom they disclose their HIV status.
Sadly, CHOGM in Uganda saw lesbian, gay and transgender Ugandans beaten by security forces for speaking out in the Commonwealth People’s Space. CHOGM in Trinidad & Tobago provides an opportunity to repair that. We encourage Prime Minister Manning and all other CARICOM leaders to join President Museveni in making CHOGM here in Trinidad & Tobago a cathedral of human rights by joining their voices in joint opposition to moving any Commonwealth state backward on human rights.
No self-respecting leader of the Commonwealth, either incoming or outgoing, or of the region, can turn a blind eye to such a threat to sexual freedoms. Public health leaders have made it eminently politically safe for our leaders to do what is right when it comes to protecting the freedom and equality of their citizens who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and living with HIV, and who seek to harm no one in pursuit of our human and God-given gifts. What is more, here in Trinidad & Tobago doing so has no real political cost. It is, more importantly, a deeply principled way to show leadership in the world community, ensure human dignity, and save human lives.
Museveni messaging sticks: Newsday article on his address to Commonwealth Business Forum opens: “Even as his administration is under international fire for a proposed bill which seeks to impose custodial sentences and even death for homosexuality, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni…”
Human rights & research
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