Peter Tatchell, a leading gay activist in the UK and head of the group Outrage!, is reporting that David Bahati, the Chief of the Scout Board of Uganda and the MP responsible for the so-called "kill the gays" bill currently pending in that country's parliament, has called for any Boy Scouts or Scout leaders discovered to be gay to be hanged.
Said Tatchell: “The leader of the scout movement in Uganda is demanding the execution of all scouts and scout leaders who commit repeated homosexual acts. Chief of the Scout Board of Uganda, David Bahati, is proposing that all serial homosexual offenders, including scouts and scout leaders, should be hanged – even children. Mr Bahati is a Ugandan MP. His Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is currently before the Ugandan Parliament, stipulates the death penalty for repeat same-sex relations and life imprisonment for all other homosexual acts, even for mere kissing, touching or caressing. Scout leaders who fail to report gay scouts to the police will face three years in jail. Any scout leader who provides supportive advice to a gay scout will be jailed for five to seven years. This Bill is an expression of prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and violence, contrary to scout principles."
Bahati was honored by the Scout organization in December (above).
Added Tatchell: "I have asked the Scout Association UK to press the world scouting movement to disaffiliate the scout organisation of Uganda, on the grounds that its leader has violated scouting values by proposing the execution of gay people, including gay Ugandan scouts and scout leaders. My letter calls on the British scout organisation to condemn Mr Bahati and his Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and to refuse to host him again in the UK. The British and world scouting movement cannot remain silent, given this threat to kill its members in Uganda. They must break all links with the Ugandan scout organisation while it remains under the leadership of David ‘kill the gays’ Bahati.
“The international scout movement has a duty to defend its values of universal respect, equality and brotherhood."
It's not immediately clear if Tatchell's report is in regard to some element of the "kill the gays" bill or some new development. Either way, it's probably important to draw the connection between Bahati and the Scouts organization, considering their homophobic and discriminatory practices here in the U.S.
UPDATE: Some clarification from Peter Tatchell (via rex wockner). His post is with regard to the "kill the gays" bill and intended to draw attention to Bahati's role in the Scouts. Writes Tatchell: "His exact title is Chairman of the Scout Board of Uganda.
His Anti-Homosexuality Bill does not, of course, specifically cite or single out LGBT scouts or scout leaders. But, like other LGBT Ugandans, scout members who commit repeat homosexual acts will be liable for execution – if Bahati's is Bill is passed.
The Bill does not specify from what age the death penalty will apply. I am told that it could apply to young LGBT people under 18. Does anyone know what the age of criminal responsibility is in Uganda? Is there any Ugandan law specifying the minimum age at which a person can be executed?
Good news: The World Organisation of the Scout Movement is, as a result of OutRage!'s representations, considering action against the scout movement in Uganda."
The Uganda Scout Association, like the Boy Scouts of America, is part of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The Boy Scouts of America prohibits openly gay people to be Scout leaders and has revoked memberships for this reason.