Open Arms

African Leaders Urged To Support LGBT Rights By Former President Of Mozambique

Joaquim Chissano 471b-102310With all the attention being focused on the anti-LGBT climate in Russia right now, it’s easy to forget that Africa is a pretty scary place for gays as well.

Thankfully, an ally for LGBT people in that continent has just stepped up in a powerful way.

In an open letter to African leaders for The Africa Report, Mozambique’s former President Joaquim Chissano unapologetically urges them to support LGBT rights.

“We can no longer afford to discriminate against people on the basis of age, sex, ethnicity, migrant status, sexual orientation and gender identity, or any other basis – we need to unleash the full potential of everyone.

As an African who has been around a long time, I understand the resistance to these ideas.

But I can also step back and see that the larger course of human history, especially of the past century or so, is one of expanding human rights and freedoms. African leaders should be at the helm of this, and not hold back. Not at this critical moment.”

As indicated with his desire to “unleash the full potential of everyone,” Chissano’s goal is to support Africa’s LGBT citizens not only as a human rights issue, but as an investment in Africa’s future.

Ironically, the financial investment in Africa that came with the proliferation of Evangelical Christian missionaries has only served to foster antigay hatred in those regions. Hopefully Chissano’s open letter is just the beginning of some major dialogue and action that will help support the LGBT people of Africa.

Their lives are depending on it.