Faith-Based Efforts in East Africa to Combat Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

May 3, 2022|Arcus Foundation

Arcus commissioned a report to evaluate, map, and analyze faith-based work in East Africa in support of LGBTIQ rights and recognition, with a particular focus on SOGIESC (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics) human rights. By analyzing data and insights gained via in-depth interviews with individuals from civil society organizations, faith-based communities, and funding organizations throughout East Africa, the report aims to identify concrete needs and opportunities for change toward advancing increased safety for and decreased violence against LGBTIQ communities, increased policy protections, and increased acceptance and inclusion.

The report’s findings reveal that while collaborations with faith-based communities are increasing in number and diversity, there is still a great need for building trust between LGBTIQ rights campaigners and faith-based communities, particularly in the face of an active, well-resourced anti-rights movement that hinders efforts to advance LGBTIQ rights in the region. Activists interviewed also called for more donor flexibility and long-term funding cycles to advance collaborations with faith-based communities, as cultivating allies takes time and results are often not immediately visible.