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Sunday, 8 November 2009

Evil in Uganda

Prompted by appeals from the Sexual Minorities Uganda Group (SMUG), the gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has written a letter of protest to Joan Rwabyomere, the Ugandan High Commissioner in the UK, concerning Uganda’s Anti-Homosexual Bill 2009:

We are writing to you to express our great concern and dismay at the proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda.

As you will be aware, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 was recently tabled before the Parliament of Uganda. The Bill’s provisions are draconian and among them are:

Any person alleged to be homosexual would be at risk of life imprisonment or in some circumstances the death penalty.

Any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities would face very heavy fines or three years in prison.

Any teacher who does not report a lesbian or gay pupil to the authorities within 24 hours would face the same penalties.

Any landlord or landlady who happens to give housing to a suspected homosexual would risk 7 years of imprisonment.

Similarly, the Bill threatens to punish or ruin the reputation of anyone who works with the gay or lesbian population, such as medical doctors working on HIV/AIDS, civil society leaders active in the fields of sexual and reproductive health, hence further undermining public health efforts to combat the spread of HIV.

All of the offences covered by the Bill as drafted can be applied to a Ugandan citizen who allegedly commits them – even outside Uganda!

The existing law has already been employed in an arbitrary way, and the new Bill will greatly exacerbate that effect. There is a continued increase in campaigns of violence and unwarranted arrests of homosexuals.

We regard this sort of bigoted homophobia as a gross violation of the human rights of a sizeable minority of the Ugandan population and quite contrary to civilised humanitarian norms.

Please bring our concerns to the attention of the authorities in Uganda.

George Broadhead commented, “In March this year, American Christians travelled to Uganda for a conference that pledged to ‘wipe out’ homosexuality. Seven months later, a draconian Bill has been introduced that pledges to make good on this threat.

“This witch hunt has all the hallmarks of leading American Christian Evangelicals. The Family Life Network, one of America’s most powerful Christian Evangelical organisation’s, seems to have converted Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to its antigay brand of Christianity, and this is the impetus behind the anti-gay crackdown.”
Related links:
Primitive and malicious
The inconvenience of human rights

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