Open letter to the federal government

Dear Chancellor Scholz,
Dear Foreign Minister Baerbock,
Dear Minister of the Interior Faeser,
Dear Development Minister Schulze,
Dear Queer Representative Lehmann,

the so-called Anti-Homosexuality Act is a Uganda law that intolerably threatens and restricts the life, liberty, and civil rights of LGBTIQ* people in Uganda. This law became effective when signed by the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, on 05/26/2023.

The law provides for life imprisonment for same-sex sex and even the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” Among others, these are persons who have already been convicted of homosexual acts.

“Promotion of homosexuality” is punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years and fines. As a result, organizations that support LGBTIQ* can themselves only work under the greatest danger or not at all. And more: The law obliges relatives, neighbors, doctors, authorities to denounce if they become aware of the lifestyle or sexual identity of LGBTIQ*.

As a result, LGBTIQ* lose their housing or access to medical care and are prevented from accepting assistance from supportive organizations. They are persecuted, experience brutal violence and have to fear for their lives. Interned, the worst prison conditions await them.

The anti-homosexuality law violates human rights and fuels societal discrimination and violence against queer people. There is also a risk that the important progress Uganda has made in the fight against HIV and AIDS will be undone.

Reports from activists on the ground, who are virtually connected to our network in digital meetings, confirm the disastrous development for LGBTIQ in Uganda since the law came into force. HPRAF (Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum) has just published a study that illustrates the severity of the situation [1].

Queer Emergency Uganda has come together from about 40 organization, initiatives and individuals to explore and initiate any opportunities to help LGBTIQ* people. First, this is done by soliciting donations for local organizations that support LGBTIQ*. On the other hand, we see it as our duty to draw the attention of the German federal political level to the conditions and to ask for fast and unbureaucratic support of the LGBTIQ* in Uganda.

Against this background, we very much welcome the fact that Germany, together with 31 other countries from the Equal Rights Coalition, has issued a statement strongly condemning the law and also its social consequences.

We also have the following five demands for the federal government in this situation:

1) We call on the German government to grant protection to LGBTIQ activists from Uganda, who are particularly at risk due to their work with LGBTIQ NGOs, by means of humanitarian visas in Germany. We have already been contacted by non-governmental organizations from Germany that work with LGBTIQ activists in Uganda and are very concerned about their cooperation partners. A list of 177 highly endangered queer activists, along with a call from 80 celebrities, has been in the hands of the federal government for several weeks. Humanitarian visas for LGBTIQ persons at risk have been agreed upon in the coalition agreement; as the time factor plays a decisive role here, we urge haste especially on this point.

2) Germany must also work to ensure that the Ugandan MPs who introduced this bill and representatives of the NGOs and churches lobbying for it, in particular, can no longer enter the Schengen area. The actions of these individuals must not remain without consequences. The U.S. has already listed individuals from Uganda accordingly. [2]

3) Furthermore, it is important to us that Germany does not co-finance this policy in Uganda: Now that the law has been enacted, Germany must not strengthen anti-LSBTIQ forces in Uganda. Development aid to the Ugandan state should be reviewed in this light – other civil society agencies are often the better way to go. Furthermore, Germany should not continue to support the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) and its member organizations (e.g., the Anglican Church), which lobbied for the law.

4) It is important that Germany supports LGBTIQ organizations on the ground, especially with emergency financial aid, in order to support urgent emergency measures to protect the LGBTIQ community on the ground – after the Embassy has already supported projects on the ground, for example.

5) The travel warning for Uganda needs to make it even clearer, as was done on the part of the US, what the new law means in practice and that it can apply, for example, even to non-LSBTIQ* who advocate for queer rights!

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a personal meeting or if you have any questions.

Alliance Queer Emergency Uganda

Contact persons:
Stephan Jäkel (+49 179 7974307)
Dirk Ludigs (+49 170 5544412)

[1] HRAPF, Increasing Violence and Violations: The First 21 Days of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 Act, 2023, June 21 2023.

List of organizations supporting this letter:

Member organizations of Queere Nothilfe Uganda
Academy Waldschlösschen Foundation
Action against AIDS Germany
Aids Action Europe
Action Alliance against Homophobia e.V.
AllOut Action Fund
Berliner Aids-Hilfe e.V.
BiBerlin e.V.
BiNe – Bisexual Network e. V.
CSD Germany e.V.
Checkpoint BLN
German Aids Federation
German Society for Transidentity and Intersexuality dgti e.V.
German Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband Landesverband Berlin e. V.
Equal PostOst e.V.
Hannchen Multipurpose Foundation HMS
Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation
Youth Network Lambda e.V.
Just Human e.V.
LesLeFam (Lesbian Life Family) e.V.
LesMigraS/Lesbenberatung Berlin e.V.
LGBT+ Rights Ghana
Let’s Walk Uganda
Lesbenring e.V.
Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) e.V.
Order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – House Sankta Melitta Iuvenis e.V.
Pride Initiative for Eastern Region Uganda (PIERU)
Project 100% MENSCH non-profit UG
PROUT AT WORK Foundation
queeramnesty Berlin
QUEERHOME/Sunday Club e.V.
Queermentor Training & Empowerment Network gGmbH
Gay Counseling Berlin gGmbH
SchwuZ Berlin GmbH
TransInterQueer e.V.
Uganda Minority Shelters Consortium (UMSC)
Völklinger Kreis e.V.
Wirtschaftsweiber e.V.
Individuals from Queer Emergency Uganda
Dirk Ludigs, Journalist
Fabian Grischkat, Newsfluencer / Moderator
Dr. Lutz van Dijk, author and educator

Other organizations supporting the letter:
ACAT Deutschland (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture) e.V.
ADRA Germany e.V.
AK Aids (Working Group of Physicians in Private Practice in HIV Care Berlin e.V.) e.V.
BAfF e.V. (Federal Association of Psychosocial Centers for Refugees and Torture Victims)
BNS (Berlin Network for Particularly Vulnerable Refugees)
Federal Association of Vietnamese Refugees in the Federal Republic of Germany e.V.
ColognePride e.V.
The Paritätischer Gesamtverband
German Women’s Council e.V.
THE LEFT. queer
Refugee Council Lower Saxony e.V.
Mission TRANS* e.V.
Munich Kyiv Queer
Nuremberg Human Rights Center e.V.
LiSL – Liberal Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans and Queer e.V.
Ecumenical Working Group Homosexuals and Church (HuK) e.V.
PLUS Rhine-Neckar e.V.
pro plus berlin e.V.
Queer Center Mannheim e.V.
Queer Green
Rainbow Afghanistan
Rat und Tat Center for Queer Life e.V.
Pink Help Würzburg
Rosa Strippe e.V.
North-South Bridges Foundation
Sub – Gay Communication and Cultural Center Munich e.V.
TERRE DES FEMMES Human Rights for Women e.V.
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World)
The LGBT Life e.V.
WILPF Germany (German Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)
WostoQ -Regenbogen e.V.
ZIK – at home in the neighborhood gGmbH

Queer Emergency
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