“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel
By Melanie Nathan, January 27, 2013.
Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated throughout different parts of the world, each year on Jan. 27, the day of liberation from Auschwitz. It is on this day that as a Jew and a citizen of this gift “EARTH” I am obliged to speak out for all those around the world who others would persecute or have have dead, just because of who they are, be it because of a birthright, religion, and/or sexual orientation. I speak out for my LGBTI brothers and sisters and gender neutral friends around the world. We hear your cry and we say because of the holocaust, “never again.” Your fight wherever you are, is our fight too. That is how it must be.
For us Jews many have lived their lives in “NEVER AGAIN” mode. That embraces two concepts. One the safety and guarded existence of our own people and also the duty to speak out and act to protect others who face genocide. Some have fought fervently for our right to live in peace, free of genocide, and safe in a place we can call home. That place where we can build whatever it takes to safeguard the existence and perpetuation of our people. A place where despite ongoing attacks against that very right, we still manage to contribute to the larger world society with imperative inventions in technology, science, medicine and other fields.
For gays – queers – LGBTI people what does Never Again mean? As a lesbian I ask, “Have we embraced the concept in the way we have done as Jews?” I do not think so. Have created channels for escape of our currently persecuted LGBTI family, wordlwide? When did you last speak to your Congressperson about asylum laws and making it easier to bring a gay refugee to America, When did you assist a lesbian couple under siege in an African country and help the escape to safety? Ask yourself what have you done or what you could do for “NEVER AGAIN?”
When Government’s such as Uganda’s say, “stay out of our business, we have the right to make sovereign laws,” I remember that Hitler too had operated under the right to Germany’s sovereignty, but that did not make his laws that resulted in the genocide of six million Jews, justified or right.
Today the desire to kill gays, just because of who they are, because they are not the same as everyone else, is senseless and ignorant, and seeks its justification, quite ironically in the misuse of Bible, and other religious interpretations. Religions stand at the forefront of the dicta that calls for death to gays – at the fore – Muslims and Evangelical Christians. While this may sound like a pronouncement on all, I have to say it is. I blame the moderates too.
Until such time as the moderate voices in those religious realms do MUCH more than simply issue the ineffective run of the mill statements – “I don’t agree – the Bill is bad,” as far as I am concerned, they are complicit in the persecution of the rhetoric and deeds of the extremists amongst them. They need to do much more. They need to enter Uganda and other countries around the world, where the harm is so great and find ways to counter the harm caused by the extremists amongst them. The extremists who share their religions. To the moderates, I say that you have a greater duty.
Uganda’s parliamentarians are going to consider The Anti-Homosexuality Bill on February 04, 2013, when Parliament reconvenes, that is unless they have the good sense to eradicate it from the agenda once and for all. The otherwise known “Kill the Gays Bill” seeks the death penalty for gays, as well as long term prison sentences for homosexuality, and so called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality. It also seeks to imprison parents, doctors, landlords, employers, teachers, siblings, friends and anyone who fails to report a known homosexual within 24 hours of receiving the information.
No matter what happens to the Bill, no one can eradicate the persecution which its introduction has already induced, unless some hard core effort is made to counter the harm already done. Where are the Christians?
No matter what happens to the Bill its implementation was at the direct behest and upon conspiracy by U.S. Evangelicals. (See SMUG vs. Scott Lively.) Where are the Christians who could counter this effort. Indeed we know of the handful of usual advocates. But they are few and far between.
Where are the Catholics? The Catholics are the one group that through the overt advocacy and in some cases silence of the Pope continue to perpetuate the idea; – Let s Kill the Gays! Did the Catholics not hear or learn the call to “NEVER AGAIN?”
I was drawn again to the overt call for genocide as expressed by Giles Muhame, the Ugandan journalist, who until now has never been held criminally accountable in Uganda for the harm he caused to LGBTI Ugandans through his public call for their persecution. Giles Muhame, the publisher of Rolling Stone Tabloid, Uganda, calling for the hanging of Gays can be seen on this See Video below at 21:59 following. Although he lost a civil case brought against him by human rights defenders in Uganda, and had to pull Rolling Stone Tabloid from distribution as well as pay damages of $600, he has never been held criminally or substantially accountable for the harm he caused. Here you have a man saying KILL GAYS – in print and publicly on video and he remains untouched, free to continue his career as a journalist for his own online publication.
Yes, he was banned from entering the U.S.A. thanks to my Congresswoman, Lynn Woolsey, who I pitched to write to Sec. Hilary Clinton, requesting he be denied a VISA into the U.S. Hopefully if he does travel he would be arrested fro crimes against humanity, especially as a link may be made between this call for hanging and the actual death of David Kato, who is also depicted in the Video below. The point of this is to note that unless we take action, what becomes of the cry “NEVER AGAIN?” Do we wait until its too late? The fervor of Muhame in this video is what currently persist in thought amongst many Ugandans. What are the religious moderates doing to counter this BIBLE approach – and if you dig deeper – the call for death is all in the name of the Bible?
SOUTH AMERICA: Enormous counter measures need to take place in many South American Countries, as Evangelicals are starting to get the anti-gay genocide messages to powerful congregations in those reasons.
I believe the West has been far too lenient on Muslim countries that expound death for gays. Our hotels operate in these anti-gay countries, we trade, we attend University, and yet me remain silent. These are countries where LGBTI people scramble to escape to the West, out of fear of family reprisal, but also from clerics, and laws that call for their death. Yet we are silent. Muslims from around the world who share moderate views seem to respect that teaching, as we hardly see or hear of attempts to change that thinking, least of all their objections. As gays we tend to accept that is simply another world and our advocacy is minimal. Instead we are open to providing asylum in our Countries, yet we do very little as an LGBT community to insist on boycotts, and other measures that would indicate our disdain. We have also failed to advocate for protocols and strategies that would make it easier for providing asylum and safe international passage to our LGBTI Muslim family.
Today, because President Obama pledged to bring all those who commit crimes against humanity to justice, it is imperative for us speak up and bring to the fore the stories, and the plight of gays, as our duty toward our LGBTI people around the world, through our protests and advocacy as a community. In doing so we also call on religious moderates to do much more to counter the pain that your religion has caused in this current heightened milieu of persecution.
SEE ALL COUNTRIES: where laws persecute gays
“Jewish homosexuals were made to wear both the yellow triangle and the pink triangle, which undoubtably left them ‘the lowest of the low’. These identification marks can clearly be seen on the identity photos shown throughout the site. these images were taken on entry to Auschwitz. Each image clearly shows a large pink triangle. ” http://www.hardenet.com/homocaust/pinktriangles.htm