10 Dec

Flee Or Die: Olympia Quakers Support Uganda’s Underground Railroad. Talcott Broadhead gives an update on KUOW

KUOW_Record-logoTalcott Broadhead gave an update on the work of Friends New Underground Railroad on December 10, 2014 to hosts Ross Reynolds & Matthew Streib on “The Record” on NPR member radio station KUOW 94.9 FM in Seattle between 12 Noon and 1pm PST.  http://www.kuow.org/programs/record

12/12/2014 – here is the interview:

Flee Or Die: Olympia Quakers Support Uganda’s Underground Railroad

By Ross Reynolds & Matthew Streib • Dec 10, 2014 • 10:29 minutes. Listen:

07 Dec

BAD NEWS: Lawmakers hatch plan to reintroduce anti-gays Bill / MPs to pass gays Bill as Christmas gift to Ugandans / GOOD NEWS: EU court blocks gay asylum tests

Lawmakers hatch plan to reintroduce anti-gays Bill


“Fast-tracking the Bill. Some 256 MPs and ministers, including Ethics minister Simon Lokodo, have petitioned the Speaker demanding that the Bill be re-tabled. …

“… The ball is now in Kadaga’s court to have the final say on MPs’ signatures and have the Bill listed on the order paper as a matter of urgency as more MPs queue to append their signatures on the historic Bill.”

More: http://mobile.monitor.co.ug/magazines/Lawmakers-hatch-plan-to-reintroduce-anti-gays-Bill/-/691254/2547332/-/format/xhtml/-/x0aj2wz/-/index.html

MPs to pass gays Bill as Christmas gift to Ugandans

By Isaac Imaka – Posted  Friday, December 5   2014 – Sunday Monitor

Photo cutline: “Gay activist Kasha ( in Purple shirt) consults during the court session that nullified the anti-homosexuality law. File photo”

Members of Parliament have reignited the push for the reintroduction and passing of the Anti-homosexual Bill with calls to pass it as a Christmas gift for the people of Uganda.”

“Raising a point of national importance, Kawempe North representative Latif Ssebagala, who described himself as a chief mobiliser of members of Parliament who cherish our values, norms and religious beliefs, said the legislators are ready to pass the Bill before the House adjourns for Christmas.”

More: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/MPs-to-pass-gays-Bill-as-Christmas-gift-to-Ugandans/-/688334/2545046/-/jwsxij/-/index.html

EU court blocks gay asylum tests

FriendsNewUndergroundRailroad-logo-200px2 December 2014 Last updated at 06:51 ET

“Homosexual acts are illegal in many African countries, including Uganda

“Three men, including a Ugandan and one from a Muslim country, failed in their bids for asylum when a Dutch court said they had not proved their sexuality.

“EU states including the UK have been criticised for their handling of gay asylum requests.

“The European Court of Justice (ECJ) says they must respect human dignity.
“Its rulings apply to all EU member states.”

More: http://www.bbc.com/news/30290532


Update: There are ten lesbian women in hiding who have been hiding for two months waiting for the funds to be able to move them out of Uganda.  Please support the work of Friends New Underground Railroad – DONATE!

02 Dec

Breaking Ugandan Activist Attacked by Mob taken to Intensive Care – by Melanie Nathan


By Melanie Nathan, November 28, 2014.

A Ugandan human rights defender and activist known in the LGBT community has been brutally attacked today by a mob and rushed to a Kampala emergency hospital.

After a loss of blood, from what seems like multiple injuries, including a badly injured eye, Kelly Mukwano, was administered first aid, collapsed and was sent to intensive care, where he is currently stabilized and undergoing treatment.

Kelly has been subject to persecution by police with several arrests. After an October arrest, he described his ordeal with police as “the most trying moment of my life.”

Please read the whole article by Melanie Nathan about this assault in Uganda and about the ongoing sanctioned culture of violence there: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2014/11/28/breaking-ugandan-activist-attacked-by-mob-in-intensive-care/

20 Nov

News from Uganda: New anti-gay Bill in advanced stages

New anti-gay Bill in advanced stages
Daily Monitor – November 20,  2014

In contrast to the nullified Act, the new Bill avoids any explicit references to homosexuality, but seems to co-opt sections of the Penal Code, which prescribe, among others, a life sentence for “unnatural sexual practices.”

Unnatural sexual practices are defined in the draft Bill as a sexual act between persons of the same sex, or with or between transsexual persons, a sexual act with an animal and anal sex.

The proposed legislation also expands the definition of “promotion of unnatural sexual practices” and proposes a prison sentence of up to seven years for the promotion of homosexuality.

Funding for purposes of “promoting unnatural sexual practice” and protecting, housing or transporting homosexuals can also result in imprisonment of up to 10 years.


Mr Frank Mugisha, founder of Sexual Minorities Uganda, told this newspaper homosexuals living in Uganda can expect renewed pressure.

“During the period when the law was in place, we experienced a steep increase in violent attacks and discrimination – not only from the police, but also from the surrounding community,” he said.

Mr Mugisha said expanding the definition of “promotion of unnatural sexual practices” will make it extremely difficult for his organisation to operate.

“Even my Facebook and Twitter accounts might get me arrested, since I am writing about homosexuality. With this legislation newspapers and media outlets could also get in trouble if they publish stories about homosexuality.”

Read the whole article:

We expected this. We knew it was in the works.
APPEAL –  We have much work to do. If you are able to support this work of funding the Ugandan conductors who are assisting LGBT Ugandan people who feel they must flee to another country to live, please donate to Friends New Underground Railroad.

Gabi Clayton

23 Oct

Soundings: “Olympia Friends offer hope to persecuted Ugandan gays”

by John Dodge, Staff writer – The Olympian – October 22, 2014

“Within two months of the bill’s passage, Olympia activists Gabi Clayon and Talcott Broadhead persuaded the Olympia Friends to sponsor a Friends New Underground Railroad project, raising money to help LGBT Ugandans escape their country under fear of persecution, arrest, violent beatings and death.

“Uganda’s constitutional court struck down the egregious anti-gay bill on Aug. 1, 2014, citing a legal technicality, but sidestepping any ruling on the merits of the bill.

“But striking the law from the books has not made life any easier, or safer, for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender Ugandans. Many LGBT Ugandans remain in hiding, fearing for their lives and desperately trying to flee the country, Clayton said.”

Read the whole article here: http://www.theolympian.com/2014/10/22/3384958_olympia-friends-offer-hope-to.html

Thank you to John Dodge for a great article about Friends New Underground Railroad and for including our Halloween fundraiser.  We appreciate that he took the time to cover our project and the research that he clearly did.

14 Sep

Article: Friends New Underground Railroad

Thank you to Friends Journal for writing this article about FNUR:

Friends New Underground Railroad
Friends Journal – by Staff – September 1, 2014

“Earlier this year a group of Quakers from Olympia (Wash.) Meeting started the Friends New Underground Railroad (FNUR), a project to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals living in Uganda leave the country in order to flee terrible persecution resulting from the passage of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act.”

Read the article here:

10 Sep

Article: “Group’s goal: Help oppressed Ugandans”

by Don Underwood – Springfield News-Leader – September 2, 2014

“Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International has reacted by documenting the crimes against the LGBTQ community. In addition, the Unitarian Universalist Association at its recent General Assembly passed a resolution (http://www.uua.org/statements/uua-support-uganda-new-underground-railroad-safely-extract-lgbtq-people-persecution) calling upon UU members to support the FNUR, share information on the topic and support asylum seekers. …”

“… And, finally, you can join members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church (springfieldunitarians.org/) of Springfield at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 21. We will share information on the FNUR and discuss the issue during our monthly Soup/Salad and Social Action meeting. You are invited to join us.”

Don Underwood is a member of the Social Action Committee at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Springfield and a former News-Leader Opinion page editor.

Read his article in full here:

10 Sep

Article: “Olympia Quakers support LGBT refugees from Uganda”

by Quincy Malesovas, Staff Writer
The Guilfordian – Guilford College – September 5, 2014

“One other obvious question that has been raised on the subject is whether the Olympia Friends are in over their heads or if it is even their place to try and help. ‘The challenges are great — theologically, practically, and culturally,’ said Max Carter, director of the Friends Center and campus ministry coordinator. ‘Friends have a history of ‘speaking truth to power,’ and those involved in the initiative will move forward guided by the example of others who have gone before and with the confidence that it is the right thing to do.’ FNUR seems to agree, having themselves been influenced by the Quakers working with the original Underground Railroad.”

Read the whole article here:

05 Sep

“Stories Of Our Lives,” Kenyan film tells stories of LGBT people in world premiere tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival

Kenyan film tells stories of LGBT lives
by Christopher Vourlias – THE SCRUTINEER – September 5, 2014

“A man arranges a sexual liaison with another man and sits in a hotel room, waiting for a knock on the door. Teenage girlfriends face an awkward reunion after being pulled apart by school officials. A woman and her female partner dream up an escape plan as angry mobs threaten to evict gays from their homes.

“These and other real-life stories, drawn from a collaborative project to document the lives of members of Kenya’s LGBT community, were the inspiration for “Stories Of Our Lives,” a collection of five fictional vignettes that will have its world premiere tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival.”

Read the article here:

05 Sep

Article: MPs start process to re-table gay Bill

 “Parliament yesterday officially allowed the start of a process which will see the reintroduction of a much stricter law against homosexuality.”

MPs start process to re-table gay Bill
Posted Wednesday, September 3 2014 at 01:00 – Daily Monitor

Read the article here: