galck+ stands strong with the LGBTQ+ people of Zambia and deeply condemns the recent developments. We have been following with concern the negative discourse recently, on sexual and gender minorities in the country following an event called the ‘Lusaka July’. While the sexual and gender minority community in Zambia was not part of or involved in the event, the consequent discourse has escalated to strong and unwarranted condemnation and calls for attacks against sexual and gender minorities in Zambia i.e., hate speech, outright discrimination, overt and targeted schemes against the community, and advocating for hate crimes.
Zambia like many countries in Africa including Kenya have for decades upheld laws that still criminalise consensual same-sex unions. It has been proven over and over when leaders justify their prejudice by saying LGBTQ+ rights are not pertinent and not significant in their current administration, this opens up avenues for unjust discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons and most of the time innocent lives end up being lost in these witch hunts.
While making the Economic Case for LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Kenya, Open for Business in their 2019-2020 impact report showed that open, inclusive and diverse societies are better for economic growth, and that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity can damage long-term economic prospects. This can be said not only for Kenya but also for a country like Zambia that has been on a steady economic climb. It is unfortunate that LGBTIQ+ people who contribute equally to our countries and economies are still treated as disposable and that human rights for all people are not being upheld. We call for partners, grantees and allies to come together and stop efforts to destabilise the lives of the LGBTQ+ people plus any legislation against the community in Zambia
Love transcends unjust laws, love transcends prejudice and love will always win.