GLN political party meeting unsuccessful

2016-07-20 06:00
PHOTO: supplied At the recent local government public meeting hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Network (from left) Dr Nonhlanhla Hlongwane (IEC), Jacquiline Mseleku-Khanyile (moderator), Anthony Waldhausen (Gay & Lesbian Network director), Martin Meyer (Democratic Alliance) and Gugu Memela (IEC).

PHOTO: supplied At the recent local government public meeting hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Network (from left) Dr Nonhlanhla Hlongwane (IEC), Jacquiline Mseleku-Khanyile (moderator), Anthony Waldhausen (Gay & Lesbian Network director), Martin Meyer (Democratic Alliance) and Gugu Memela (IEC).

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THE Gay and Lesbian Network were shocked and despondent when only one political party attended the recent public meeting which was held for major political parties to engage with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) community.

The aim was to engage with political parties on issues of concern to the LGBTI community regarding service delivery issues and hate crimes and allow interaction of marginalised and vulnerable groups in Pietermaritzburg. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was also invited to provide an overview of the election processes and voter education.

According to GLN all major parties were invited to attend and various party representatives expected, however, only Martin Meyer from the Democratic Alliance was present.

“The lack of commitment shown by a failure to attend gives the impression that politicians and their respective parties do not care about the LGBTI electorate and, possibly, the other vulnerable and marginalised sectors of the local population.

“The level of civil unrest in the country is unsurprising given the failure to engage with the electorate when suitable platforms are provided prior to the elections. It would therefore seem that the DA is the only party willing to engage with the LGBTI electorate ahead of the local government elections scheduled for 3 August” said Anthony Waldhausen, director of the GLN.

Waldhausen said that with South Africa’s abstention from the UN Human Rights Council in respect of the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity resolution, is a disappointing blow to organisations that are working for the protection of lives of LGBTI people in South Africa.

“We will keep attempting to engage various political

parties throughout the year. We have accordingly extended an invitation to various political parties to march alongside us during the street parade in Pietermaritzburg on 28

October as part of the Pink Mynah Festival.

“This would be a welcome symbol of support and willingness to journey with us in making Pietermaritzburg the City of Choice, even for the vulnerable and marginalized,” he said.

- Supplied

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