27 June 2018

Swaziland: NGO Snubs LGBTI, What Will Funder Say?

Photo: allafrica.com
Same-sex relationships, LGBTIQA, gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex.

One of the best known human rights groups in Swaziland / Eswatini has snubbed the LGBTI Pride festival saying it is against Biblical teaching, putting it at odds with a major funder.

The Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) issued a statement saying it would not support Swaziland's first Pride because the event, 'is completely against our creator Lord Jesus' plans for His people in being together as man and woman'.

The statement attributed to Community and Advocacy Officer Silindele Nkosi was published in the Swazi Observer on Tuesday (26 June 2018).

SWAGAA is a non-governmental organization in Swaziland best known for the work it does on gender-based violence. Among its stated values are 'non-discrimination' and 'respect for all human rights and gender equality'. It does not say it only works with Christians.

SWAGAA's anti-LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) stance puts it at odds with one of its major funders, the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It states, 'PEPFAR stands firmly and unequivocally with and for key populations. These groups include gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender persons, and prisoners.'

It adds, 'PEPFAR's programs support the creation of non-stigmatizing environments that protect human rights.'

PEPFAR pays for a number of projects in Swaziland and funds the position of education officer at SWAGAA.

The Pride event which takes place on Saturday 30 June 2018 is billed as a day of free expression to celebrate diversity.

The Observer reported Nkosi said SWAGAA would not support LGBTI Pride 'because the ideas from which it stemmed from were against the beliefs that the organisation hold'.

Nkosi said SWAGAA would continue to offer services to LGBTI people.

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