By Dr Fred M’membe, President of the Socialist Party Zambia
The UPND is a member of the African Liberal Network (ALN), which also is a member of the Liberal International (LI). And LI Human Rights Committee Bulletin 4th Edition – LGBTI Rights states:
“In the year since Liberal International launched its Human Rights Bulletin, the final edition of the publication for 2015 – which has attracted contributions from senior ministers, UN diplomats, and prominent activists – has been released, with a focus in this edition on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights.
Contributors from Africa, Asia, and Latin America have written and been interviewed about their experiences in fighting for a cause at the heart of all liberals – equality. In this fourth edition of the Bulletin, politicians, activists, and advisors offered insights and practical advice for overcoming the challenges of standing up for minority groups in countries and across continents.
Writing about the landmark human rights manifesto for Africa, adopted in 2014 by member parties of LI cooperating organisation, Africa Liberal Network (ALN), ALN vice-president Rosemary Machua, of the Kenyan liberals, ODM (LI member), emphasised the importance of having a ‘human rights framework for Africa, by Africans’. The fact that sexual orientation is included in the Declaration is a tremendous achievement for African liberals. It firmly entrenches our view that LGBTI rights are important, recognized, and above all that they are human rights, added Mrs. Machua.
Addressing the political challenges associated with supporting minority groups in conservative societies, the Director of the Department for Women’s Rights in the DPP (LI full member), Taiwan, Dr. Ching-yi Lin, spoke of her party’s unwavering commitment to LGBTI communities, changing social attitudes and, eventually, being able to bring about tangible changes in government.
Chair of the LI LGBTI Working Group, Frank van Dalen, conducts an exclusive interview with government LGBTI rights adviser, activist and journalist, Enrique Torre Molina, who shares his views on what more politicians can do to promote the respect and advancement of the LGBTI community. Speaking in Mexico City, Enrique describes the situation for LGBTI people in Mexico and across Latin America more broadly and the role of young people in creating spaces to advance LGBTI rights adding that liberal values are the “essence” of the equality movement.”
These are views from the organisations to which the UPND belongs. To this add what we published yesterday:
If the UPND really wants to know who is dealing with the defenders, protectors and promoters of gay rights, they should start with State House.
On September 29, 2021 President Hakainde Hichilema hosted an ambassador of gay rights at State House. His name is Mr Tony Blair – a former British prime minister. Mr Hichilema held talks with Mr Blair on the possible collaboration between Zambia and the Tony Blair Institute for global change. Mr Hichilema said the institute is doing commendable work and hopes it can assist Zambia.
Mr Blair said his institute stands ready to help the new dawn administration. Mr Blair has been recognised as one of the top gay icons of the past three decades, along with figures such as Boy George, Sir Ian McKellen and Barbra Streisand. Gay Times said Blair’s status as an ambassador of gay rights was undeniable. Mr Blair, as British prime minister, introduced laws recognising trans people, civil partnerships, banned employers from sacking employees because of who they love and made homophobia a hate crime.
Mr Joe Biden, on May 4, 2012 told NBC’s “Meet the Press” anchor David Gregory: “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out is what all marriages, at their root, are about, whether they’re marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.”
This is the President of United States today, the current occupant of the White House. And early in his presidency Mr Hichilema was a guest at the White House – something they were very proud of, were boasting about!
This week Mr Hichilema visited European Union Parliament in Brussels and addressed it. Gay rights in the European Union are protected under the European Union’s (EU) treaties and law. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in all EU states and discrimination in employment has been banned since 2000. The Treaty on European Union, in its last version as updated by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007 and in force as of 2009, makes the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union legally binding for the member state of the European Union and the European Union itself. In turn, Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union includes an anti-discrimination provision that states that “any discrimination based on any ground such as […] sexual orientation shall be prohibited.”
Furthermore, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides in Articles 10 that the European Union has a positive duty to combat discrimination (among other things) on the grounds of sexual orientation and provides in Article 19 ways for the Council and the European Parliament to actively propose pass legislation to do so. These provisions were enacted by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999.
In June 2010, the Council of the European Union adopted a non-binding toolkit to promote LGBT people’s human rights. In June 2013, the Council upgraded it to binding LGBTI Guidelines instructing EU diplomats around the world to defend the human rights of LGBTI people. So if one is looking for gays and defenders, protectors and promoters of gay right the starting point should be State House.
And this is the problem with malice, it boomerangs. Bob Marley sang in a reggae rhythm, “Why boasteth thyself, oh evil man
Playing smart and not being clever?
I said you’re working iniquity
To achieve vanity, yeah (if I sow, I sow)…No weak heart shall prosper
And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall fall in it…”