Just recently Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded the UN strip all gay and lesbian staffers of their basic human rights, this demand is an escalation of the anti-gay law he had passed in his own country in 2013, which resulted in hundreds of gay or lesbian Russians being attacked, harassed and fired.
Last year it was Uganda who came out with a new anti-gay legislation, and that garnered not nearly enough media attention and outcry, considering the year since. This very Christian country sees homosexuality as an abomination and has officially made it illegal not only to be gay, but to know of gay activity and stay silent.
Being Gay in Uganda, Life in Prison. Knowing About Someone Gay and Keeping Silent, 7 Years in Prison.
Unfortunately, killing people for being gay isn’t something new, and such fervent persecution can be seen as a major deterrent for people to admit their true sexual orientation – when said orientation is of the homosexual variety. But this does serve as a poignant reminder that as much as we would like to believe we live in enlightened times, this can’t be the case, unless we make the effort to enlighten it. It wasn’t too long ago that laws in the US prohibited gay marriage, and gay rights are still being actively fought for. Gay bashing hasn’t become a term because it is so rare. People are being persecuted for who they love, and this isn’t because they love differently – they don’t.
This situation in Africa is not as isolated an event as we would like to believe. The UK Home Office is currently trying to deport Nigerian asylum seeker Aderonke, who fled Nigeria in 2004 after her son, brother and ex-girlfriend were killed in vigilante attacks. If she is returned to Nigeria she will be put to death in Sharia court for being a lesbian. The reason they say she doesn’t deserve asylum is because she once had long hair and has children.
No Man Is an Island
This is another painful reminder that we have not learned our lesson in regards to persecution, we have not learned our lesson that to live in the ideal world we all have to stand together. Furthermore, it is further proof that we still live in a world where stereotypes reign, and can be the difference between life and death.