Skip to main content

Open Letter to the (9th) Ugandan Parliament

Dear Sirs and Madames,

I am writing to you, as I did earlier this year to the members of the 8th Parliament, to express my concern for the proposed anti-gay legislation as well as for some of your recently passed laws that criminalize sexual orientation.

Mr. David Bahati, who has introduced the bill to Parliament, has based his position on discredited sources which erroneously and maliciously blame all manner of dangerous behaviors towards children and declare that homosexual behavior can be eliminated.

I urge you to distance yourselves from those American fundamentalist Christian Right, anti-gay extremist who have descended on your country and are fanning their homophobic agenda, which could have grave consequences for your country's human rights. They have not done your country any favors.

I am a Christian myself. I am also a transsexual. But more importantly, I am grateful to live in a city and country that has afforded me the ability to live without fear. Additionally, I am grateful to live in a day and age when my condition is recognized by the medical profession and that there aremedical professionals throughout the world who have dedicated themselves to learn everything they can about how to help individuals like myself to live healthy and productive lives.

Even though gender identity and sexual orientation are two different things that must be understood and discussed separately, they have one thing in common. Neither of them are a choice. One does not choose to be gay or a transsexual any more than one chooses to be straight. It is therefore inhumane to single out those who don't happen to conform to the binary view of sexuality and criminalize their personhood.

Additionally, to make it a crime not to report a gay person within twenty-four hours is beyond evil. To lay charges against family, friends, counsellors, ministers, doctors, landlords, employers and neighbors will turn your country into a land full of suspicion, tyranny and fear. Where then can someone who is ostracized and persecuted for being deemed different turn to for soccur? How much more inhumane can laws become?

In closing, please know that I will continue to uphold your country in prayer, that all elected to the 9th Parliament on February 18, 2011, will be marked with compassion and that the legacy of your tenure as a Member of Parliament will be how you protected the human rights, the dignity and the diversity of all the citizens of Uganda. Please repeal and abolish all laws that target any minority group, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Ugandans.

Respectfully yours,
Lisa Salazar
Vancouver, Canada

Popular posts from this blog

Behind the scenes of "Ask a transgender Christian"

A young woman I greatly admire is Rachel Held Evans. She is an amazing author, blogger, speaker, wife, mother and a seriously articulate Evangelical Christian who is not afraid to enter into conversations that would make many others run and hide in their little dogma houses.

Earlier in September of 2012, Rachel contacted me to see if I would be willing to be interviewed as part of her popular blog series titled "AKS A…" Would I be willing to be the target for "Ask a Transgender Christian?"My new friend Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network (GCN) and author of the soon to be released book"Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate" suggested me as the person to ask. (In the same way, Justin is the person Rachel chose for the "Ask a Gay Christian" interview.

Having followed Rachel for several months, my initial reaction to her email was one of disbelief and trepidation, given the level of intellectual and t…

Cats and dogs seem to matter more to the ruling BC Liberals than trans persons.

The Apparent Hypocrisy of British Columbia’s Elected Liberal Government
The same week that Transgender advocates and allies stood in front of the BC Legislature in support of the introduction of a private member’s bill aimed at protecting the rights of transgender people, the BC Liberal Government announced an order-in-council that adopts the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Codes of Practice for both kennel and cat breeding.

Indeed, this is very good news for dogs and cats in British Columbia.
Yet, this same Government has sat intentionally on it’s laurels, refusing to pass an exact version of the “trans rights bill” on three previous occasions. This is the fourth time the Honourable Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End, introduces this bill. The bill would amend the BC Human Rights Code (BCHRC) to include “gender identity and gender expression.”
Having “gender identity and gender expression” included in the BCHRC will afford increased protection, safety, and …

Witnessing a Birth of Sorts

When the moment to start life anew comes, it usually happens in the quietness of one's spirit. Yesterday, February 21, 2012 will mark the moment my friend Tori took that step in the most unassuming way.

In 1999, about the time I was being assessed and diagnosed at the Vancouver Hospital's Gender Clinic, I made a couple of calls to a support group in the area. Their brochure listed a phone number and stated calls could be made on Thursday nights if you needed to speak to someone, otherwise you could leave a message and someone would get back to you. The woman who answered was friendly and explained the purpose of the group an how one would go about attending their meetings and other events. Membership was reserved for those who had been vetted and approved by the membership committee. Confidentiality and security of personal information was very high on the group's priority list.

Given the group's stated purposed was to provide a safe place for heterosexual men to cross…