Obama Encourages Young African Leaders to Support LGBT Rights

Obama Encourages Young African Leaders to Support LGBT Rights

Speaking in Washington, D.C., as part of a three-day summit for the Young African Leadership Initiative, President Barack Obama used a question about anti-albino violence in Kenya to address the widespread and deeply entrenched homophobia in many African societies.

After saying that violence against people based on their skin color needs to stop, he went on to add:

“The same, by the way, is true for sexual orientation. I spoke about this in Africa, and everybody is like, oh, oh, we don’t want to hear that. But the truth of the matter is, is that if you’re treating people differently just because of who they love and who they are, then there’s a connection between that mindset and the mindset that led to racism, and the mindset that leads to ethnic conflict. It means that you’re not able to see somebody else as a human being.”

He then said, alluding to the long history of imperialism and oppression in Africa by European powers:

“You can’t, on the one hand, complain when somebody else does that to you, and then you’re doing it to somebody else. You can’t do it. There’s got to be some consistency to how you think about these issues. And that’s going to be up to young people — because old people get stuck in their ways.”

The remarks come after President Obama challenged his African counterparts to move progress on LGBT issues on a visit to Kenya, Ethiopia, and the African Union.

In response, Mark Bromley, chair of the Council for Global Equality, said:

“And this really is a hallmark of President Obama’s approach – lifting up voices and communities, challenging all of us to see the humanity in others and to recognize the human rights we all share.”

Where’s Dennis? Still think this president is being a politician about the LGBT?

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16 Comments

  1. pete
    August 10, 06:20 Reply

    “You can’t, on the one hand, complain when somebody else does that to you, and then you’re doing it to somebody else. You can’t do it”

    says it all.even KDians should imbibe this

  2. james bruno
    August 10, 06:43 Reply

    i was impressed obama still chose to address gay rights when he visited kenya despite the topic being deeply unpopular there. kudos.

    say what you will about western leaders but they are the only ones who give any semblance of a shit about the african gay community. there is obviously a limit to what anyone can do about the laws of an independent nation though.

    i only see most african countries repealing their antigay laws when u.n mandates it. that’s eventually bound to happen.

  3. Kester
    August 10, 07:37 Reply

    Wait o some one should tell me what I am about to say is wrong I just heard Obama is supporting LGBT rights cuz his wife is a transwoman PP over to you (and I am ready to receive an ermine lined LASTMA coat if necessary)

  4. Django
    August 10, 08:28 Reply

    That was a big fat lie. Michelle was the same with that unsmiling (or is it forced smiling) facial expression of hers growing up as a little girl, teenager, adolescent into adulthood… I love that face BTW, I’d die for those killer looks. She has been the woman we all knew her to be.

    Someone said “Having reservations about someone solely because of their sexual orientation is homophobia… Having reservations about someone solely because of their skin colour is racism…”

    There’s actually no difference between homophobia and racism, save the sexual orientation and skin colour. The earlier people realize this, the better for all of us (and my sanity, of course)

  5. Dennis Macaulay
    August 10, 09:33 Reply

    Shey I have drawn the correlation between racism and homophobia before?

    Thankgod other people agree with me.

    Way to go Barack!

    • Pink Panther
      August 10, 09:47 Reply

      The words of a girl when she saw this on my Facebook wall:

      ‘Okay I won’t talk much. the thing is I don tire for this man and his gay agenda. I’ve not read the article but the whole gay something is becoming increasingly irritating abeg. We no want, we no want but the guy no wan hear. He is just on an LGBT mission. Thank God his tenure will be over. Hopefully the next president will be less overbearing.’

      I simply shook my head and waka-ed on.

  6. Khaleesi
    August 10, 10:35 Reply

    On the issue of LGBT rights, i have nothing but respect for Pres Obama, he is willing to use his enormous influence to speak out against oppression. No matter what, i know the words are hitting home and thats a good thing. Nevertheless, the road ahead is a long one and willl take at least 150 years b4 we get anywhere close, homophobia is deeply etched into the DNA of most Nigerians, only a major and very traumatic intervention can root it out from deep within where it’s taken root.

    • Olly Goes
      August 11, 12:39 Reply

      Homophobia is not deeply etched into the DNA of all Nigerians. Truth is we are all mostly silly goats who follow wherever opinion is convenient to follow without effort or scrutiny. Only reason U or I are different is we are gay so we know where the shoe pinches. We will be shocked how quickly Nigeria will be forced to drop its homophobia when the right time comes. Etch wetin? Just wait there.

      • Max
        August 11, 17:50 Reply

        We need something really really traumatic to happen before people’s mind can change.
        I know the perfect disaster..

  7. Oluwadamilare Okoro
    August 10, 16:46 Reply

    “… There is gotta be some consistency in how you think about this issues…” WORD!

  8. Chuck
    August 10, 17:21 Reply

    Question for the South Africans on the blog:

    How has the introduction of gay rights laws in 1994 changed homophobia in South Africa? Any insight?

    • R.A
      August 10, 20:00 Reply

      And this is why God will bless you Chuck! Phew!

  9. JOJOARMANI
    August 11, 10:54 Reply

    if i can magically make obama president of nigeria for just a year!….

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