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Take action – Protest the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill

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I’ve been feeling increasingly sickened by The Anti-Homosexuality Bill (yes, that’s its official name. At least it’s not trying disguise sheer hatred with a euphemism) currently being debated by the Ugandan Parliament.

As summarised by the Guardian’s Xan Rice in Kampala:

Life imprisonment is the minimum punishment for anyone convicted of having gay sex, under an anti-homosexuality bill currently before Uganda’s parliament. If the accused person is HIV positive or a serial offender, or a “person of authority” over the other partner, or if the “victim” is under 18, a conviction will result in the death penalty.

Members of the public are obliged to report any homosexual activity to police with 24 hours or risk up to three years in jail – a scenario that human rights campaigners say will result in a witchhunt. Ugandans breaking the new law abroad will be subject to extradition requests.

A landlord who rents to homosexual tenants risks seven years imprisonment.

Ugandan feminist and lawyer Sylvia Tamale shared her concerns about the Bill at a recent public dialogue and in this article.

News reports suggest that the bill is likely to be passed – even though doing so would violate international human rights treaties to which Uganda is a state party, such as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and would jeopardise Uganda’s international standing and assistance. Sweden has already pledged to cut aid to Uganda if it passes the legislation. But Uganda’s move into oil production makes it less likely to be sensitive to international donor pressure.

Ironically, the drive for the bill came in the wake of a seminar hosted by Ugandan organisation Family Life Network, which brought in American evangelical speakers known for their anti-homosexual stance. According to Rice: “After the conference Langa arranged for a petition signed by thousands of concerned parents to be delivered to parliament in April. Within a few months the bill had been drawn up.”

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) is working with the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) to protest the legislation. Email the Ugandan officials listed below and add your voice to these protests.

View the IGLHRC sample letter here

4 comments to “Take action – Protest the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill”

  1. Comment by Michael:

    I have no respect for religious tyrants: people are too sexy for their hate, too sexy for their lies, and too sexy for their self-righteous genocide. We must expose the religious tyrants for the evil control freaks that they are.

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