A Ugandan activist was attacked, Estonia legalized same-sex marriage, and a charity in Canada provided a safe space for LGBTQ people over the holidays.
Ugandan Activist In Critical Condition After Attack
Steven Kabuye, a Ugandan LGBTQ activist, is in critical condition after he was stabbed on his way to work.
Kabuye works with the Coloured Voices Media Foundation, an organization that campaigns on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth.
According to The Guardian, Kabuye was found on the outskirts of Kampala by local residents. He told detectives that he had been receiving death threats.
“According to Mr. Kabuye, two unidentified individuals on a motorcycle, wearing helmets, approached him. The passenger jumped off and attacked him, specifically targeting his neck with a knife,” said police spokesperson Patrick Onyango in an interview with The Guardian.
This attack follows Uganda’s bill that makes homosexuality a capital offense. Kabuye had previously voiced his concern on the bill.
Marriage Equality Passes In Estonia
Photo via Pexels.
New Year's Day marked the first day that same-sex couples could legally marry in Estonia.
According to The Guardian, Estonia became the first former Soviet-ruled country to legalize gay marriage following a vote in June 2023 where 55 MPs voted to amend the Family Act.
“It’s an important moment that shows Estonia is a part of Northern Europe,” said Keio Soomelt, the project manager for the Baltic Pride festival, in an interview with The Guardian.
Following the February 2023 election that resulted in Prime Minister Kaja Kallas taking office, more progressive laws have been established with a specific focus on marriage equality.
Couples can now register their marriage applications online. They will then be processed and certified by Feb. 2.
LGBTQ Charity Provided Safe Space For Holidays
Photo via shervancouver.com.
In an effort to build community during the holidays, Alex Sangha, the founder of Sher Vancouver in Canada, opened his home around Christmas for people feeling alienated from their families due to their sexual orientation.
According to Global News, Sher Vancouver is a charity that supports the local South Asian and wider ethnic LGBTQ community.
“There are a lot of people who are alone on Christmas. They don’t have any family. They’ve been rejected. They’ve been disowned. Some people are starving. We consider Sher Vancouver to be a family, and we don’t want people to be alone, especially during this festive season and during Christmas,” said Sangha in an interview with Global News.
The organization specifically holds this event around the holidays because it is a critical time as people are faced with social expectations.
“There’s a lot of pressure in our community for people to get married, to have children. So, if you are gay, and you’re coming out in that culture, in that society. How do you fit into that stereotype? How do you fit into that norm,” said Sangha.
Around 50 people attend this celebration every year with the help of fundraisers, grants, and donations.