LGBT VOICE TANZANIA`S STATEMENT ON THE 63RD HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 10TH DECEMBER 2011
Today the Tanzanian LGBT community joins millions of other people in commemorating the International Human Rights Day. This day is a time for people worldwide to reflect about the meaning, importance and need for human rights. It is an occasion for the government and people of Tanzania to re-commit themselves to the spirit and letter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which we are a signatory.
The theme of the 2011 International Human Rights Day, Dignity and Justice for all of us, is especially important for the LGBT community in Tanzania particularly in the wake of increased hate speech from government officials, the Minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation, religious leaders and discriminating and criminalizing legislation against sexual minorities, which have resulted in mass hateful uprisings, direct harassment, violence intended to silence activists advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender in Tanzania. These violations deprive sexual minorities of the dignity and justice guaranteed to all peoples under the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
As we celebrate this year’s International Human Rights Day, the LGBTI community in Tanzania recommits to working towards a more inclusive and tolerant society that will ensure that every Tanzanian lives in peace and with dignity, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We emphatically stress on this day that LGBTI rights are human rights and not special rights.
LGBT VOICE Tanzania stress that human rights as stipulated by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights are God-given and inherent. It is a violation of those God-given rights to witch-hunt LGBT individuals and makes us scapegoats for all the moral and social problems that the nation is contending with. It is a violation of our human rights to deny us the right to live peacefully and contribute to the social, economic, and political progress of our country. It is also a violation of our human rights to deny us the right to access appropriate health care and education, and force us to change from our God given sexual orientations and gender diversities.
In light of this the LGBT community denounces the government’s complacent position and continued refusal to accord LGBT Tanzanians equal access to the human and civil rights every other Tanzanian is entitled to under the Constitution, and for continuing to make same sex relationships criminal.
It is LGBT Voice Tanzania`s fervent belief that the promotion of human dignity shall remain hollow unless we transform our social and political attitudes to eliminate hate and ensure tolerance for diversity.
May God bless Tanzanian and all LGBT in Tanzania?