Friends Ugandan Safe Transport (FUST) issued a call in December 2019 for increased support to counter renewed anti-LGBTQ pressures in Uganda.
Founded in 2014, FUST supports LGBTQ individuals seeking to leave Uganda for their safety. A project of Olympia (Wash.) Meeting, FUST is supported by more than 25 Friends monthly and yearly meetings.
Back in 2014, the Ugandan Parliament had approved a new law criminalizing homosexuality. The law also made “aiding and abetting” homosexuality a criminal offense. The bill ultimately was ruled invalid in court.
But then in October 2019 Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo and MP James Nsaba Buturo said the government planned to re-introduce a similar bill in parliament. Although the president’s spokesperson later denied any such plans, the government officials’ statements lead to increased violence against those identified as LGBTQ in Uganda.
As of February, FUST has supported Ugandan “conductors” (so named because their role is similar to that of Underground Railroad conductors) to help 2,101 individuals escape from Uganda: 2,087 LGBTQ adults, 6 straight allies, and 8 children.