Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Writers and Academics Against Homophobia

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and others have condemned the murder of Ugandan gay activist, David Kato. On Monday a group referring to itself as Writers and Academics Against Homophobia issued a press release. Feel free to share this petition through your social networks.

PM News reports it thus:

Nobel Laureate, Proessor Wole Soyinka, authors and academics have condemned the murder of Ugandan gay activist, David Kato.
They called on the Ugandan government to find and prosecute those involved in the murder of David Kato who was a well known gay campaigner in Uganda.

According to the group which includes BCC award winners and best selling authors, misgiving about homosexuality should not be a matter for the government to delve into. They therefore urged African governments to expunge all anti-homosexuality provisions in their constitutions. The group said that scientific research has cleared the fog of ignorance that some religions foisted on the people concerning homosexuality.

Similarly the group called on all African governments to emulate South Africa which has expunged her laws that criminalise homosexuals or treat them as unworthy of the same rights as other citizens.

The document was signed by at least 60 signatories including Damola Awoyokun, Wale Adebanwi, Diran Adebayo, Joe Agbro and Anengiyefa Alagoa.

(The comments section of the PM News report shows clearly the extent of the problem that ignorance represents)

The Petition

We the undersigned condemn in the strongest possible terms the murder of Mr David Kato the Ugandan gay rights campaigner. We wish to state emphatically that homosexuality is neither a sin nor a social or cultural construct. It is a biological given. Homosexuals are human beings like everybody else. Scientific research has been helpful in clearing the fog of ignorance entrenched by some religious texts in regards to homosexuality. Our opinions of homosexuality must change for the better just as our opinion of slavery has changed even though it was endorsed by those same religious texts. All violence against gays and people deemed to be gay in Africa must cease forthwith.

We call on the government of Uganda to find and prosecute all those involved in the murder of Mr Kato, including the newspaper that called for the hanging of gays. We also call on African governments to learn from the South African example by expunging from their laws all provisions that criminalize homosexuality or treat homosexuals as unworthy of the same rights and entitlements as other citizens. African states must protect the rights of their citizens to freedom and dignity. Homosexuals must not be denied these rights.

Undersigned:

1. Wale Adebanwi, PhD, University of California, US

2. Diran Adebayo, Writer, UK
3. Jide Adebayo-Begun, Writer, Nigeria
4. Kayode Adeduntan, PhD, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
5. Biola Adegboyega, University of Calgary, Canada
6. Shola Adenekan, Editor, The New Black Magazine, UK
7. Pius Adesanmi, PhD, Carleton University, Canada
8. Akin Adesokan, PhD, Indiana University, US
9. Chimamanda Adichie, Writer, Nigeria
10. Faith Adiele, Writer, US
11. Joe Agbro, Journalist, Nigeria
12. Anthony Akinola, PhD, Oxford, UK
13. Anengiyefa Alagoa, Writer, UK
14. Ellah Allfrey, Deputy Editor, Granta Magazine, UK
15. Alnoor Amlani, Writer, Kenya
16. Ike Anya, Public health doctor and writer, UK
17. Bode Asiyanbi, Writer, Lancaster University, UK
18. Sefi Atta, Writer, US
19. Lizzy Attree, PhD, University of East London, UK
20. Damola Awoyokun, Writer, UK
21. Doreen Baingana, Writer, Uganda
22. Igoni Barrett, Writer, Nigeria
23. Tom Burke, Bard College, US
24. Brian Chikwava, Writer, UK
25. Jude Dibia, Writer, Nigeria
26. Chris Dunton, PhD, National University of Lesotho, Lesotho
27. Ropo Ewenla, Artist, Nigeria
28. Chielozona Eze, PhD, Northeastern Illinois University, US
29. Aminatta Forna, Writer, UK
30. Ivor Hartmann, Writer, South Africa
31. Chris Ihidero, Writer, Lagos State University, Nigeria
32. Ikhide R. Ikheloa, Writer, US
33. Sean Jacobs, PhD, New School, US
34. Biodun Jeyifo, PhD, Harvard University, US
35. Brian Jones, Professor Emeritus, Zimbabwe
36. Martin Kiman, Writer, US
37. Lauri Kubuitsile, Writer, Botswana
38. Zakes Mda, PhD, Ohio University, US
39. Colin Meier, Writer, South Africa
40. Gayatri Menon, PhD, Franklin and Marshall College, US
41. Valentina A. Mmaka, Writer, Italy/South Africa
42. Jane Morris, Publisher, Zimbabwe
43. Joseph Sndanni Mwella, Advocate of High Court, Kenya
44. Mbonisi P. Ncube, Writer, South Africa
45. Iheoma Nwachukwu, Writer, Nigeria
46. Onyeka Nwelue, Writer and filmmaker, India/Nigeria
47. Fred Nwonwu, Writer and Journalist, Nigeria
48. Nnedi Okorafor, PhD, Writer, Chicago State University, US
49. Ebenezer Obadare, PhD, University of Kansas, US
50. Juliane Okot Bitek, Writer, Canada
51. Tejumola Olaniyan, PhD, University of Wisconsin, US
52. Ngozichi Omekara, Trinidad and Tobago
53. Akin Omotosho, Actor and filmmaker, South Africa
54. Kole Omotosho, PhD, Africa Diaspora Research Group, South Africa
55. Samuel Sabo, Writer, UK
56. Ramzi Salti, PhD, Stanford University, US
57. Namwali Serpell, PhD, Writer, Harvard University, US
58. Brett L. Shadle, PhD, Virginia Tech, US
59. Drew Shaw, PhD, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe
60. Lola Shoneyin, Writer, Nigeria
61. Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate for Literature
62. Olufemi Taiwo, PhD, Seattle University, US
63. Kola Tubosun, Writer, Fulbright Scholar, US
64. Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Writer, Nigeria
65. Abdourahman A.Waberi, Writer, US /Djibouti
66. Binyavanga Wainaina, Writer, Kenya
67. Ronald Elly Wanda, Writer& Lecturer, Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute, Uganda
68. Kristy Warren, PhD, University of Warwick, UK
69. Cornel West, PhD, Princeton University, US

Note: Since time of posting some additional signatories have been included. The author of this blog is at number 13 on the list of signatories.

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