LGBT people have faced extreme discrimination in Sri Lanka. For more than a century, the country has outlawed same-sex relationships under its colonial-era “gross indecency” laws. And in 2001, a Sri Lankan newspaper publicly called on convicted rapists to continue their violence–but only against the country’s lesbians, in an effort to “cure” them.
Activists like Rosanna Flamer-Caldera are pushing back against this kind of ignorance and hate. In 2004, she founded her nonprofit organization, EQUAL GROUND, to advocate for human rights and equality for LGBT Sri Lankans. Flamer-Caldera has also served as the co-secretary general of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.
Flamer-Caldera recently spoke about her experience advocating for LGBT rights–from 1970s San Francisco to present-day Sri Lanka–with American Jewish World Service, a long-time funder of Equal Ground. (more…)