Press Releases

ADVISORY TO U.S.A. and Western LGBT Groups:
The ultimate Symbol of Pride – where equality takes a back seat to survival for the right to their lives and yet they risk a pride!

06/08/2013.

Contact: Melanie Nathan
Commissioner, Marin Human Rights Commission
PRIVATE COURTS INC.
Mediation & Human Rights Advocacy

nathan@privatecourts.com

CALLING FOR ACTION: PLEASE show your individual and organizational support for Ugandan’s Second gay pride: Please pass this on to the person in your organization who is able to act on this important request:

Last year, despite the climate of fervent anti-gay hostility, Ugandan volunteer LGBT activists accomplished what seemed impossible – they launched the first every Gay Pride celebration in Uganda. Cloaked in secrecy, the Pride preparations began some months in advance, with a core few leading a determined community toward that successful day, which became known as Beach Pride Uganda.  Almost a year has passed since, and the community is determined to hold its second such annual event.

After the historic Pride event and the attempts by Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Fr. Simon Lokodo, to shut it down, through a raid and arrests, I wrote an OPED piece for The Advocate, using the photographs of David Robinson. The article went viral, quickly recording well over 12,000 Facebook likes, many more than most Advocate Articles accomplish and many picked it up.  It was then that it really hit home for me that Beach Pride Uganda was and will continue to be the ultimate symbol of LGBTI Pride, not only for the Ugandan community, but also the rest of the world. That is why it is imperative that this year, we do not wait for after the event to come and go to show our appreciation, but rather now, by donating to it.

READ MORE and Link to where you can DONATE:
http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/06/04/uganda-prepares-for-its-second-gay-pride/

THANK YOU

MELANIE.

================================================================

PRESS AND ORGANIZATIONAL ADVISORY:

Contact: Melanie Nathan
Commissioner, Marin Human Rights Commission
PRIVATE COURTS INC.
Mediation & Human Rights Advocacy
nathan@privatecourts.com

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 10.06.59 PMCALLING FOR ACTION: PLEASE show your individual and organizational support for this mayor by sending letters of support, thanks and acknowledgments, consider awards, and offers of help in the event of a recall.

Please pass this on to the person in your organization who is able to act on this important request:

Porterville, CA -­‐ The mayor, Virginia Gurolla, is now threatened with recall because she stood up for the LGBT residents of her town.

Porterville was the only City Council in CA that issued a proclamation in support of PROP 8 -­‐ banning same-­‐sex marriage.

Now as we approach the SCOTUS ruling on Prop 8, the extraordinarily resolute and courageous Mayor issued a proclamation, amidst a dramatic and intensely hateful attack by community and council alike, proclaiming June as LGBT Month in Porterville.

When the LGBT community showed up to receive the proclamation, they were subjected to a horrendous verbal attack including death threats.

See my story at

http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/06/04/california-­‐mayor-­‐issues-­‐lgbt-­‐proclamation-­‐ despite-­‐hateful-­‐city-­‐and-­‐council-­‐members/

PLEASE CONSIDER THE MAYOR FOR POSSIBLE FUTURE AWARDS:
Mayor Virginia Gurolla -­‐ a hero amongst us!

The Mayor stood up against the bigots in her town including her entire city council. She insisted on signing a proclamation for the city to recognize June as LGBT month.

The city council meeting was a showdown -­‐ and the Mayor who stood up for the gay community is now being ostracized and threatened with recall.

The Porterville California LGBT community is very small. Yet the Mayor, despite opposition, thought it imperative and worth risking her career, to honor it.

The city is organizing her recall. Please read my article and as

a community let us think of ways to honor and thank her.

http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/06/04/california-­‐mayor-­‐issues-­‐lgbt-­‐proclamation-­‐ despite-­‐hateful-­‐city-­‐and-­‐council-­‐members/

THANK YOU MELANIE.’

=============================================================

PRESS RELEASE – PRIVATE COURTS, INC.
Mediation. Equality & Human Rights Advocacy

Caveat: Permission to Republish University Statement with this article only- as long as it is published without any material edit and in full or link to this page as (read more) source: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2012/10/20/ugandan-university-regrets-invitation-to-editor-of-hang-the-gays-article/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: – October 20, 2012.
Contact Melanie Nathan
Nathan@privatecourts.com
(415) 601-1099

 

Ugandan University Regrets Invitation to Editor of Hang the Gays Article

Despite first public indication of regret by Giles Muhame: “It was not necessary to wage a campaign for the hanging of gays.”

San Francisco- October 20, 2012- Deputy Vice-chancellor Dr. David Young, of the University of Victoria, Kampala, Uganda, issued an apology this week, indicating the University’s regret at hosting Giles Muhame, the managing editor of the “Hang-the Gays” Tabloid, Rolling Stone.

Muhame delivered a speech earlier this month to students at the University’s new Department of Journalism, after receiving an invitation by journalism Professor Alan Geere.

Muhame contacted Melanie Nathan and provided her with a transcript while boasting about his speech at the University earlier this month. Nathan, an advocate for LGBTI human rights, who has written extensively about Uganda’s LGBTI community’s struggle, immediately issued a complaint about the invitation to the University, through the advocacy firm Private Courts, Inc.

Muhame commenced his speech to the students with his first ever public expression of regret since Rolling Stone’s notorious article in 2010,“ 100 Pictures of Uganda’s Top Homos Leak” with a picture of a noose and the further caption – “HANG THEM!.” The Article used pictures including a hangman’s noose to out gays and lesbians in Uganda, causing untold harm resulting in the ostracizing, beatings and arrests of some Ugandans, while others fled the country.

In his speech Muhame makes a first ever admission that he waged a campaign to hang the gays and that he had caused harm:

“The Rolling Stone made mistakes, which I regret and think, should have been avoided. It was the youthful adrenaline that overrode our reason. It was not necessary to wage a campaign for the hanging of gays. I think we could have prepared a better story without jeopardizing the safety of a minority group. The story under the headline “Hang Them” cost the newspaper its future. It’s not a good thing to be known for doing the wrong thing. (Applause).”

“Even though he has made this admission, it was inadequate and self serving,” noted Nathan. “Under the circumstances this invitation was highly offensive to all journalists and also the LGBT communities around the world. The Ugandan leaks went viral and Muhame’s actions were deadly,” said Nathan. Furthermore, “Giles Muhame has yet to apologize or make amends to the LGBTI community and the specific people he harmed.”

Muhame lost a lawsuit brought against him and the tabloid by Ugandan gay activists including since murdered David Kato.

Muhame was ordered to retract the publication and pay shs 4.5million to the gay activists who sued him.

However he vowed to ignore the judgment through a Press Release referring to his victims as “shamed homos” and stated further:- “We would have paid them but doing so is as good as paying a tribute to those who promote sexual identity confusion and related madness.  We remain strong and indeed in times of war, losses are expected.”

Melanie Nathan noted in her letter to the Vice-Chancellor’s office:-

  “Your Journalism Department at Victoria University invited one of the world’s most unethical and disrespected ‘journalists’ to speak to its students.”

Nathan went on to note:

“What the world thinks of Muhame is summed up by U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, in her letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton asking for the denial of a U.S. Visa to Muhame, as follows: “Under Mr. Muhame’s editorship, Rolling Stone incited violence and murder against non-heterosexuals…. This hate filled man has fanned the flames with violence and intolerance, and is both a danger and a disgrace.” (See the letter: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2012/07/11/congresswoman-requests-secretary-clinton-to-deny-us-entry-to-giles-muhame/ )

The Private Court’s complaint expressed: “Nothing Muhame says or does can restore him to journalistic integrity until such time as he apologizes publicly to the 100 gays he outed, the entire community and makes some form of reparation to David Kato’s mother and Ugandans who had to flee Uganda as a result of the publication.”

Nathan says that the Acting Vice-Chancellor Young was very responsive to the complaint. She was very pleased with the University’s response, which is published here in the following statement in its entirety:

“STATEMENT ISSUED IN RESPONSE TO COMPLAINT FROM MELANIE NATHAN, PRIVATE COURTS. INC:

Universities should strive to achieve a balance between protecting and promoting free speech and critical thinking on the one hand and, on the other, preventing the use of their facilities as platforms for those who are intent upon inciting hatred of groups or individuals or of inciting violence or disruption.

In the case of the presenter you are complaining about some the views he promoted previously in his journal Rolling Stone fell in the category of inciting hatred of groups and/or individuals and would, in many countries, have incurred the wrath of the criminal law.

He has since expressed a degree of regret for the expression of these views – as indeed he did during his talk at Victoria University.  Furthermore, he made no attempt during his visit to promote the unacceptable views previously published.    The visit was part of a series of presentations from representatives of both the mainstream and alternative media to our students on the Media, Communication and Journalism course in order to expose them to different models of journalism and how these publications are formulated in terms of editorial stance and business model. However, expressions of regret for having caused extreme harm are only convincing if complete and unreserved.  Unreserved and unqualified regret and apology should certainly be a minimum condition for re-acceptance in the worldwide academic community.

Had the Vice-Chancellor’s office known about this invitation and the background of the individual the invitation would have been withdrawn.

Victoria University abhors and condemns unequivocally the statements made in Rolling Stone and elsewhere which incited hatred of, or violence against, individuals or groups of people.  We apologize for having provided a platform which was likely to cause offense to those people affected by these unacceptable statements.

This case has acted as a prompt for us to formulate our policy on guest speakers and our new policy document will be presented to the next meeting of our Senate.  We will also be requiring with immediate effect that all proposals for guest speakers must be subject to the approval of the Vice-Chancellor’s office.  These measures are designed to ensure compliance from now on with the principles expressed in paragraph one of this statement.

Dr David Young

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Acting Vice-Chancellor

Victoria University

17 October 2012”

O-BLOG-DEE-O-BLOG-DA – Private Courts, Inc. © 2012, All rights Reserved.
Permission to Republish Statement with article only – and as long as it is published without any edit and in full or link to source at – http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2012/10/20/ugandan-university-regrets-invitation-to-editor-of-hang-the-gays-article/.

————————————————————————————————————-

Melanie Nathan, Executive Director, Private Courts Inc.

MELANIE NATHAN is the founding director of Private Courts Inc. an international and U.S. mediation, equality and human rights advocacy firm based in Marin County, California. Nathan’s CV can be found at  www.visualcv.com/melnathan 

Caveat: Permission to Republish University Statement with this article only- as long as it is published without any material edit and in full or link to this page as source: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2012/10/20/ugandan-university-regrets-invitation-to-editor-of-hang-the-gays-article/

MELANIE NATHAN is the founding director of Private Courts Inc. an international and U.S. mediation, equality and human rights advocacy firm based in Marin County, California. Nathan’s CV can be found at  
www.visualcv.com/melnathan  nathan@privatecourts.com

VICTORIA UNIVERSITY, Kampala is a private University, providing U.K. degrees to its students for some of its programs from the University of Buckingham in the United Kingdom. It is further associated with Edulink Holdings, Univ. of Pune- RAK, Scotland’s Colleges, Victoria University Healthcare Centre and Sports Club Victoria University.   

3 Comments on “Press Releases”

  1. Daudi January 5, 2013 at 6:03 AM #

    Melanie, I have seen your blog and unfortunately it confirms my fears! I admire some of the work that you do, but I think unfortunately you have taken human rights to the extreme! Homosexuality is not natural, and it shouldn’t be promoted in society, homosexuals should be given protection in some form but not to the extent that we accept it as a normal way of life!

    • Melanie Nathan January 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM #

      Daudi thanks for visiting and I am glad to host your comment even though I vehemently disagree with it. So let me ask a simple question, On what basis do you assert that homosexuality is not natural and what proof do you have of your assertion?

    • Melanie Nathan January 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM #

      LOL Daudi sorry I had to ask this second question – how can one take human rights to an extreme – is that not somewhat ‘OXYMORONISH?’

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