Important Safety and Security Information for Gay Rights Advocates
Monday, February 24, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed into law a controversial anti-gay bill that includes harsh sentences and even life imprisonment for Ugandan lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and intersex (LGBTI) people and their supporters. A similar law was signed a month ago by Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan followed by a wave of arrests of gay people in Nigeria.
Discrimination and violence against LGBTI people is a global issue that affects many of our communities, and many of us have raised our voices here on World Pulse against homophobia and anti-gay legislation.
Given the potential risk involved in speaking out in support of gay rights in countries where it is illegal to be gay, we would like to provide our community with the following safety and security information, suggestions, and resources.
- Our safety and security team strongly recommends that community members from Uganda who are speaking out against the recent anti-homosexuality law take an alternate name on World Pulse in order to protect themselves. To do so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We recommend that you also change your email address connected to your World Pulse account if your email address contains your name. To do so, go to “My Profile” and then “Edit Account.”
- We recommend you uncheck the box that says "Show my real name on my public profile" under Privacy Settings in your World Pulse account. To do so, go to "My Profile," "Edit Account," and then "Edit Profile." On this same page you can make sure your signature line does not contain personal information.
- We also suggest that you change your country of origin listed on World Pulse and to make sure any identifying information in your posts is removed (photos, locations, etc).
- Please be aware that under the new law having knowledge of a homosexual person is also a crime – therefore a journalist who interviews sources knowing they are homosexual are subject to arrest.
- Using your real name will likely put you and possibly your family at risk of government scrutiny, potential arrest, and harassment from other citizens.
Please review our World Pulse Online Safety and Security Toolkit for more steps you can take to protect your safety, without compromising your bold voice.
World Pulse Online Safety and Security Toolkit
The Google Safety Center
Here is a graphic showing the world’s countries and their legal stance on homosexuality from this The Daily Beast article.