Washington, DC May 17, 2017 To commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia ( "IDAHOT" ), The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries ( "TFAM" ) urges the Congressional Black Caucus ( "CBC" ) to continue the work of the Obama Administration in advocating for the human rights of LGBTQI people of African descent. TFAM challenges the CBC to take on the Trump Administration, which lionizes autocrats and ignores the deterioration of democratic values around the world and build upon the movement started by President Obama and the State Department. Led by founder and presiding Bishop Yvette Flunder, a member of President Obama's National Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS, TFAM is advocating with members of the CBC to propose actions that support the work that was stopped in January encouraging governments in East Africa to engage with LGBTQI communities.
TFAM's Bishop Joseph W. Tolton, thanked Congresswoman Barbara Lee ( picture attached ) for presenting an IDAHOT resolution to commemorate the celebration and call to action. In this time of political turmoil, leaders in the CBC are uniquely positioned to be a strategic partner to Africa in both cultural and economic trade. TFAM and Bishop Tolton are strongly advising that the CBC use its resources and political power to challenge homophobia and transphobia in Africa by: 1 ) Establishing an LGBTQI caucus focused on the common concerns of LGBTQI people of African descent; 2 ) Host a congressional briefing on the rising tide of global xenophobia led by President Trump; and, 3 ) Designate a delegation to travel to East Africa to meet with political leaders on these issues. As progressive leaders who understand the centuries of global exploitation, repression and defamation of African people, the CBC must know that silence is not an option.
Over 30 organizations in East Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, and throughout the diaspora signed onto TFAM's letter to the CBC ( picture attached ). "The US government at large has a role to play in advocating for LGBTQI rights globally and in Africa. TFAM has chosen to focus on the CBC as they understand that the plight of people of African descent is inextricably linked. For far too long we have ceded our responsibility and connectivity to Africa, it's time to reclaim it" said Bishop Tolton in a statement today from Washington. TFAM is proud of its Pan African network and the public commemorations of IDAHOT hosted by LGBTQI communities and allied faith leaders, and civil society advocates in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Belize, and the United Kingdom.
TFAM will host Town Hall Meetings in key congressional districts such as New Orleans, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and the New York City tri-state area to galvanize a base of grassroots support for its campaign. The events will focus on the need for America to engage with Africa on LGBTQI and women's right, HIV/AIDS and a cross-section of other global concerns. Africans are in the midst of a critical debate on what is African and what is not. The future of Africa's political stability is of vital interest to both Africa and the United States.
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