You can lend your name to these causes in this all-action petition edition of What We’re Reading . . .
Stop Nigeria’s “Jail the Gays” bill: The most recent anti-gay legislation on its way through Nigeria’s legislature would sentence gay couples who try to marry or live together to up to 14 years in prison, sentence those who provide help to gay couples to 10 years in prison, make public displays of affection illegal, and ban organizations supporting gay rights. Ironically, all of this, according to a Nigerian legislator, is because homosexuality “is alien to our society and it must not be imported.” This, of course overlooks the role that both British colonialists who imported the country’s original anti-sodomy law, and American evangelicals who are credited with inspiring increasingly harsh anti-gay laws across Africa, have played in laying the groundwork for this self-destructive legislation. The British government took a stand last year that anti-gay legislation would cost the country aid. In addition, the loss of gay-supporting organizations would further diminish HIV treatment and prevention efforts. Finally, the law, punishing those who provide help for gay people, would impact HIV service providers. “They would kill my friends,” an email about the bill said. The petition linked to above is to Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, asking him to veto the legislation, and is aiming for at least 100,000 signatures. You can also see the world’s reaction in real time as you watch the number of signers continue to build live on the petition page.
The Kuala Lumpur Civil Society Declaration on Tuberculosis: The science and policies exist to stop deaths from this curable disease, but the neglect that has allowed the epidemic to spread around the globe in increasingly drug-resistant strains continues — in research funding, in program planning, in addressing the societal inequities that feed tuberculosis and take millions of lives a year. To add your signature to this declaration, which calls for full civil society inclusion in every stage of planning, strategizing, putting responses into action, email: KLZerodeclaration@gmail.com with your name, organizational affiliation (if any), city and country of residence, and email address.
How to Survive a Plague: Hand-held camcorders were just coming out as the ordinary people — bankers, students, writers and more — shown in this documentary became activists to save their own lives in the late 1980s, in a struggle being replicated around the world to this day. This really epic story, presented by journalist David France, is a powerful tutorial in activism as well as an unforgettable film, because it is told by the participants as they lived it. You can find out how to host a screening at this website.