Today will mark what's good for the local LGBT community and the need to help the Uganda LGBT Community - as we celebrate International Human Rights Day.
Here in Chicago we will celebrate the 85th Anniversary of the incorporation of 'The Society for Human Rights' by Henry Gerber in 1924. The first gay rights organization in the United States and was envisioned to be 'an instrument to "ameliorate the plight of homosexuals."'
You may recognize the name Gerber as it lives on now as part of the Gerber/Hart Library on Granville Avenue in Edgewater. The library, created in 1981, contains more than 14,000 volumes, 800 periodical titles and 100 archival collections of records of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals and organzations that reflect up their lives and experiences in American society.
There is always a book sale going on at the Library and it is easy to get to as it is only a few steps away from the Granville Red Line L station. Stop by and visit the library!
At the same time that we are celebrating we also need to rally together and show our support for the LGBT community in Uganda.
In mid-October an 'Anti-homosexuality Bill' was introduced in Uganda's parliament to divide and weaken it's most marginalized population.
This new draft bill includes provisions that could lead to imprisionment for up to 3 years for anyone, including heterosexuals, who fail to report the identities of everyone that they know who is a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or even supports human rights for people who are.
'The existing law, Section 140 of the Ugandan penal code, penalizes "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" with imprisonment of up to 14 years.' As well the new draft bill sets out provisions that could lead to the death penalty for 'aggravated homosexuality'
This evening from 6:30-7:30PM, the Gay Liberation Network will hold a protest in front of the Center on Halsted to mark International Human Rights Day and protest the current draft bill being raised in Uganda.