Many public figures have been speaking out loudly against Uganda and Nigeria’s new extreme anti-gay laws, which will put several of their LGBT citizens in jail for years for simply being gay. But recently, “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg decided to weigh in on the matter and slammed the two African nations for tearing away the human rights of their LGBT citizens.
Back in January, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a new anti-gay bill that mandates a 14-year prison sentence for anyone entering a same-sex union and a 10-year term for “a person or group of persons who supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organizations, processions or meetings.”
Last month, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni seemed to follow suit when he signed an anti-gay bill that punishes “aggravated homosexuality” (repeated gay sex between consenting adults), as well as acts involving a minor, a disabled person or someone with HIV – with anywhere from 14 years to a lifetime in prison.
Last week, The Human Rights campaign released a video of Goldberg calling LGBT leaders to action and chastising the two African presidents for signing such inhumane laws into existence.
“It isn’t right to imprison someone for who they are, for who they love,” Goldberg states in the video. “It isn’t right to tell people they shouldn’t be able to speak up for equality. It’s not cool to have people pointing and saying, ‘Yeah, there’s somebody that I believe is this or that’ and someone can take them away. This is not good in any part of the country, in any part of the world, on our Earth at all. My opinion. So I have a message for the presidents of Nigeria and Uganda: you are on the wrong side of history.”
Goldberg then addressed the influence of colonialism that led to the extremely homophobic climate in many African countries and continued to chastise the African leaders for choosing archaic beliefs over equality.
“You let people come over to your country and make you believe in untruth. Gay people, black people, we’re all human. We have all faced these issues and it doesn’t roll in any country. We don’t put up with it anymore in the United States because it was wrong. It was wrong for us and it was wrong for you,” Goldberg said.
We applaud Goldberg for speaking out on the extremely oppressive laws and bringing up the homophobic remnants of colonial rule. Hopefully, political leaders across the globe will choose to work on the right side of history; the side that chooses freedom and equality, over the wrong side; the one which has always led to bloodshed, social uprise and the loss of freedom. – nicholas robinson