Last week South Sudan became the world’s newest country and rather than take the opportunity to move in new transformational directions chose to announce that “equality would not be extended to gay and lesbians.”
South Sudan was formerly subject to the Sudanese interpretation of Sharia law, under which homosexual activity was illegal, with punishments ranging from lashes to the death penalty. In 2003 the government of what was then called “New Sudan” adopted its own penal code, and in 2008 the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan adopted a replacement penal code. Both codes prohibited sodomy.
In May 2010 Mayardit spoke of a New Sudan where “all citizens” enjoy “equal rights” in a country based on “democracy, equality and justice”. But Mayardit said that LGBT recognition was “not in our character.”
“It is not even something that anybody can talk about here in southern Sudan in particular. It is not there and if anybody wants to import or to export it to Sudan, I will not get the support and it will always be condemned by everybody.”
In short the usual boring predictable statements about “it” doesnt exist here – New Sudan, Sudan or anywhere else on the continent. But there is a Sudanese LGBTI movement, Freedom Sudan which has been in active since 2006 and based in Sudan.
Freedom Sudan is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organization in Sudan. Our organization has been formed in December 2006. Our status is illegal. Homosexual behavior is illegal in Sudan and homosexuals facing the death penalty. That’s why our organization was formed in secret and all our activities are carried out secretly, hoping that one day we will get accepted in our communities and even in our families, and hope that we can be FREE to be the way we are. Freedom Sudan is an organization run by volunteers only.
Our main goals are:
Recognition of homosexuality in Sudan.
Social acceptance of homosexuality and acceptance of the rights of homosexuals in Sudan.
Abrogation of the death penalty for homosexuals (Articles 148,151, 316 and 318).
Work together with other LGBT organizations in the world for a better LGBT rights.