Following Wave Of Homophobia, Zambia’s First Lady Steps Out To Oppose Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Zambia flagOn Nov 6, 2013 Buzzfeed World reported: “Silence around issues of men who have sex with men should be stopped and no one should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation,” Christine Kaseba-Saba said in a statement human rights activists have hailed as a “miracle.”

Zambia’s first lady, Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata, called for an end to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation during a reception hosted by UNAIDS on Tuesday evening in the country’s capital, Lusaka.

This took human rights activists by surprise — this year has seen a rapid deterioration of LGBT rights in the country, with arrests of men on sodomy charges and the prosecution of activist Paul Kasonkomona for calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality during a television appearance. Recently there has also been a waving of outings of LGBT people by Zambian tabloids.

“Silence around issues of men who have sex with men should be stopped and no one should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation,” Kaseba-Saba said. “Rather, we should address reproductive health issues around this issue.”

She also reportedly said those working on public health issues among men who have sex with men have the president’s support despite the increasingly homophobic climate in the country.

Kaseba-Sata’s words could carry special weight because she is one of the country’s leading OB/GYNs, practicing and teaching in some of the country’s top medical institutions for more than 25 years. She is also the World Health Organization’s good will ambassador against gender-based violence for 2014.  Continued

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