Steenhuisen appeals to President Ramaphosa to help campaign for LGBT+ rights

Participants at the Cape Town Pride.

The interim leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), John Steenhuisen, has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to make use of his position as chair of the African Union (AU) to help fight for the rights of the LGBT+ community throughout the rest of the continent.

Steenhuisen issued the challenge to Ramaphosa during this past weekend’s Cape Town Pride. Starting off by saying that “it is fitting that it is called ‘Pride’,” he then added that a quarter of a century ago a gathering such as that would have been illegal. 

“There is every reason to be proud because what we see here today is the culmination of a generation’s selfless struggle for equality and dignity. We have come so far over the past two decades,” he said while addressing the crowd.

Steenhuisen then went on to say that the president “owes it” to fellow Africans to stand up and defend their freedom on the continent’s biggest stage: the African Union.

“Make it clear that an attack on a member of the LGBTQI community in Kampala or Dar es Salaam or Mogadishu is as unacceptable as an attack here at home. Make your term as chair of the AU count, and push hard for the rights of all Africans to be whoever they want to be, and to love whoever they want. 

“If you want to make your mark as the head of the AU this year, President Ramaphosa, fighting for the equality and dignity of all Africans would be a source of great pride,” he concluded.