Holi festival 2013. Photo by Olivia Drake MALS ’08.

Richter ’74 reports on anti-gay law in Uganda

[Ruthann Richter '74]After serving as a Global Justice Fellow in Uganda, Ruthann Richter '74 reports on the cruelty of the recent antigay law. She shares firsthand stories of LGBT activism and oppression, and outlines why we should fight against the law.

Ruthann received a B.A. in music from Wesleyan, and went on to earn her masters in journalism from Stanford University. She works as a writer and media relations director for Stanford Medical School.

I met Charlie and many others like him on a trip to Uganda in February as a Global Justice Fellow with the American Jewish World Service, an international organization that aims to end poverty and support human rights in developing countries. Fifteen of us from the Bay Area spent nine days in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. We met with eight nonprofit organizations that support women - including those affected by domestic violence and HIV - and groups working with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Their stories were staggering.

...as American Jews who were witness to these events, we were reminded of Nazi Germany in the late 1930s, when Jews were branded, harassed, restricted in their activities and deprived of the ability to practice their religion - all a prelude to genocide.

The Ugandan LGBT activists were remarkable in their show of courage. "We are not stopping our work," one lesbian activist told us. "You can throw us in jail. But we will fight - we will remain steadfast." Back in the United States, so should we.

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Image: c/o Ruthann Richter

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