Cape Town - In August this year, a survey pertaining to gay summer travel conducted in conjunction with the New York Times voted South Africa's very own Mother City as one of their Top 5 a "surprisingly gay friendly” travel destinations in the world.
Cape Town ranked in 5th position, tying with Salt Lake City in Utah and Willemstead on the Island of Curacao.
The ranking was highly celebrated, confirming not only that Cape Town is a hot and happening tourist destination for all, but also indicating the positivity pertaining to safety in destinations with a history of anti-LGBTQIA discrimination.
SEE: Cape Town represents Africa for great gay travel
Africa as a whole as a bad reputation for all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) sentiments.
In Sudan, southern Somalia and northern Nigeria homosexuality is punishable by death. In Uganda, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone, offenders can receive life imprisonment for homosexual acts. In addition to criminalizing homosexuality, Nigeria has enacted legislation that would make it illegal for heterosexual family members, allies and friends of the LGBT to be supportive.
According to Nigerian law, a heterosexual ally "who administers, witnesses, abets or aids" any form of gender non-conforming and homosexual activity could receive a 10-year jail sentence.
Considering this, South Africa is a beacon of hope and inclusiveness with its liberal attitudes toward the LGBTQIA community, with a constitution which guarantees gay and lesbian rights and legal same-sex marriage.
But a new anti-LGBTQIA manifesto, titled the 'Cape Town Declaration' is threatening this open and inclusive status.
Last week, Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage unveiled a new anti-LGBTQIA group named the 'International Organization for the Family'.
The National Organization for Marriage is an American non-profit political organisation established in 2007 to work against the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United States.
But Brown's boundaries are spreading beyond the US. In Cape Town, last week, he introduced something called the 'Cape Town Declaration' which claims to be “pro-family” and “defies LGBT culture".
SEE: SA should take the lead on LGBT tourism
The document, which has been published online, states clearly that it only condones marriage between one straight man and one straight woman.
In his blogpost, Brown explained the idea behind the International Organization for the Family:
“I’ve spoken about marriage all over the world, and have been targeted by LGBT extremists groups for doing so… but no amount of attacks from LGBT extremists like the HRC will deter me from proclaiming the truth of marriage whenever and wherever it is under attack.
“I want to introduce you to a new organisation that will take the global fight to preserve and protect marriage to a whole new level, allowing NOM to be able to focus fully on the continuing fight here at home. It is called the International Organization for the Family (IOF).
“I will be the president of IOF while continuing to lead NOM. IOF is assembling a coalition of allies to take the worldwide lead in fighting for marriage, religious liberty, parental rights, the truth of gender and other issues central to the pro-family movement.
This is not the first time Brown has caused outrage with claims against the LGBTQIA community.
In August this year, he called for a new ban on same-sex weddings because "gay people are more likely to be abusive to their partners", he said. He cited a study by anti-transgender activist Dr Paul McHugh in an email to supporters, which claimed that “non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioural and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence) than the general population.”
The theory was full of holes, however, as McHugh has long been discredited for his anti-LGBTQIA propaganda.
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