Diplomats for Equality support the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Source: GOV.UK - Photo: 2023

African Rights Groups Press U.S. Corp To Dismiss Exec For ‘Spreading Homophobia’

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK. 16 July 2023 (IDN) — Over a dozen organizations have signed on to a petition seeking the removal of a senior employee in the multinational Intel Corporation allegedly spreading anti-LGBTQ sentiment in several African countries.

The rights groups allege that Intel’s vice-president of global regulatory affairs has been “actively responsible for exporting, financing and spreading hate, homophobia” on the continent for decades, through the American conservative organization, Family Watch International.

Family Watch Int’l is run by the executive’s wife and has been actively lobbying high-ranking African leaders and lawmakers to deny the rights of the LGBTQ community. The U.S. group is described as a “hate group” by the U.S. civil rights group Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Family Watch International has sponsored trips for politicians and diplomats from Kenya, Uganda and other African countries to … train them on their extremist agenda against homosexuality, sexuality education and reproductive rights,” said Jedidah Maina of the Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health, the Kenyan non-profit that filed the petition.

The U.S. group has been active in other countries such as Ghana and Kenya, which have witnessed moves to introduce similar legislation over the past year.

Family Watch International’s website carries a denial of the claims against them. “Despite media reports to the contrary, Family Watch has never advocated for or lobbied in favor of any anti-efforts in Africa to promote anti-homosexual bills.”

But rights groups insist that the opposite is true. “There is nothing organic about the wave of anti-homosexuality bills we are seeing,” said Muthoni Ngugi, the head of the East Africa Legal Service Network, one of the organisations supporting the petition.

Data shared with the Guardian newspaper by the Kenya National Human Rights Commission shows that at least 356 cases of physical, verbal, cyberbullying and death threats to members of the community have taken place, with nearly a dozen anti-LGBTQ+ rallies in major cities.

An Intel spokesperson said: “Intel is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion. We also understand that our employees have diverse opinions and viewpoints. We respect the rights of our employees to disagree with Intel’s policies or undertake outside activities as long as they treat their fellow employees with respect and act in accordance with Intel’s code of conduct.” [IDN-InDepthNews]

Photo: Diplomats for Equality support the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Source: GOV.UK

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