Over 100 people joined us in Edinburgh today to protest against anti-gay laws recently passed in Nigeria and Uganda. The protest was part of an international day of action called by Nigerian LGBT activists.
Scottish protesters joined activists taking part in rallies around the world, in major cities including Johannesburg, New York, Stockholm, Washington DC, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Cape Town, and Amsterdam.
We called on the UK Government to use diplomatic channels to ensure LGBT human rights are upheld in Nigeria, Uganda and around the world. We also urged the government to urgently review the aid the UK provides to countries including Nigeria and Uganda to ensure funds provide maximum support for equality, while maintaining overall funding levels.
Speakers at the protest included Alison Johnstone MSP and James Dornan MSP, who spoke of the importance of taking action based on the advice of activists on the ground in Uganda and Nigeria, Dr Matthew Waites, author of “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Commonwealth”, and Dee, who gave a heartfelt and impassioned speech about how she feels as a bisexual Ugandan.
Scott Cuthbertson, Community Development Coordinator for the Equality Network, said; “As the eyes of the world fall on Scotland in the run up to the Commonwealth Games we must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with LGBT people in Nigeria and Uganda who face violence, discrimination and imprisonment because of who they are and who they love. Today we are sending a strong message to the international community that laws which criminalise LGBT people and violate their human rights cannot go unchallenged.”