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Ugandan Passage of 'Kill the Gays' Bill Imminent, Activists Fear

KadagaUganda's so-called "kill the gays" bill is poised for debate in parliament and LGBT rights groups in Uganda are pleading for the world to take notice and action. Christian clerics at a recent meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, have asked the speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, to pass the law as "a Christmas gift." Kadaga echoed that sentiment in a conversation with Reuters.

The bill could come up as early as today:

The proposed legislation could come up for debate in the next few days after it was included as the third item on Thursday's order paper for parliamentary business, said Helen Kawesa.

"After parliament has disposed of all the business ahead of it on the order paper it will then move on to discussing that bill," Kawesa said.

2_ugandaAmong the bill's provisions, according to an email from Sexual Minorities Uganda's Frank Mugisha:

"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 fines of $2,650 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"

"And 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; or even religious leaders providing guidance and counseling to people who are unsure of their sexuality or any other consultations. There are claims that the bill has been watered down, however we reiterate our position that we condemn this bill in its entirety.

The existing law has already been employed in an arbitrary way, and this Bill will just intensify that effect.

Adds Mugisha in the email: "All of the offences covered by the Bill as drafted can be applied to a Ugandan citizen who allegedly commits them - even outside the country of Uganda! At the very least, the bill violates all principle human rights and if enacted, it would contravene 8 articles of Uganda's own constitution. It not only violates the Constitution of Uganda but Uganda's international human rights obligations, and also stifles debate, undermines Civil Society and demeans the common citizenship of all Ugandans."

Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin has an EXCELLENT breakdown of what the provisions in the law would do and who they would affect. It is draconian and terrifying.

From the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, Uganda:

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is on order paper today under NOTICE OF BUSINESS TO FOLLOW No.3. Meaning it will be on business of the day any time from tomorrow. Following the caution to the international community not to make any loud noises until the bill scheduled for debate, it is now with profound sadness that we give the clear for any form of international outcry against this determined move by parliament to pass this bill. We urge you all now to go all out to condemn this move in any way you see as fitting including statements (we would be glad if President Obama and other world leaders issued stern statements condemning). Thank you and hoping with all our hearts that this action by parliament does not come to pass.

You can write the U.S. State Department on its Facebook page HERE.

Activist Scott Long suggests "one of the best things people could do is write to their own foreign ministry demanding they make immediate representations to the Ugandan government about the bill. Alternatively write or call your national embassy in Kampala." There are lists of foreign embassies in Uganda at:

http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/Uganda/uganda2.html

http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/uganda

You can also sign AllOut's petition HERE.

Gift_kadaga

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Comments

  1. I don't understand the wording here. "Anyone alleged to be homosexual"? So if I "alleged" that the bill's sponsors were all gay and lesbian, would I have to provide proof? And what form would that proof take?

    I just see how this bill could be enforced, not to mention that the UN will create a fuss about it. It's not like Uganda is going to get much international support for it, and of course the US evangelicals who encouraged it will turn their backs on the Uganda once the heat turns up.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 22, 2012 1:49:07 PM


  2. Oh, and contacting ministries and governments is more effective than singing an online petition by All Out.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 22, 2012 1:51:38 PM


  3. what north americans should also remember to take from this is that this heinous affront to human rights is the type of distraction a political party does when it doesn't actually want to do anything to HELP the people of their nation.

    who benefits from this? nobody. but it sure does provide an ugly distraction for people whose bigotry blinds them to the socioeconomic failings of the people they support.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Nov 22, 2012 1:55:34 PM


  4. I don't believe for a minute it's 'poised for debate in parliamnet' - it's a done deal. When Africans discriminate, believe me, they discriminate.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Nov 22, 2012 3:23:52 PM


  5. I don't believe for a minute it's 'poised for debate in parliamnet' - it's a done deal. When Africans discriminate, believe me, they discriminate.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Nov 22, 2012 3:23:53 PM


  6. Guys, if you want to put your voice directly where the source is write to Rebecca Kadaga's official email and tell her your opposition and strong dissapointing. Will be useless but it will give her a second thought before going to Europe or any western country for that matter. This is the email: rakadaga@parliament.go.ug

    Posted by: Betocreativo | Nov 22, 2012 3:29:08 PM


  7. Disgusting.

    The government of Uganda receives hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from U.S. taxpayers every year.

    http://wthrockmorton.com/2012/02/08/uganda-monitor-300-million-lost-to-corruption-per-year-much-foreign-aid-gets-into-wrong-hands/

    Call your representatives in Congress and protest support of the horrible government in Uganda, paid for by your tax dollars.

    Posted by: Mark | Nov 22, 2012 4:05:41 PM


  8. @BetoCreativo: Sorry, but what are you trying to say? So emailing her is useless, but we should do it anyway? And before she goes to a wealthy country for what, exactly? The EU and even North America would laugh at the idea of supporting her.

    The EU and UN have human rights commissions that would kill this debate before it started. Even the World Bank and USAID would say, No, we won't be helping you.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 22, 2012 4:07:59 PM


  9. Under this law, there is no penalty for a false accusation, but there is a penalty for failing to accuse. If the law passes, Ugandans should immediately accuse the legislators of being gay. Since they are public figures, anyone can accuse them.

    Posted by: Ken | Nov 22, 2012 4:14:30 PM


  10. We could flood the Ugandan police and the Ugandan embassy with letters and emails, saying, "I saw several television interviews of David Bahati on YouTube. I observed that he was making the same gestures as gay men and speaking with the same intonation patterns as gay men. I suspect that David Bahati may be a homosexual who is trying to hide his identity behind the trappings of heterosexuality and his advocacy of this law. This sort of thing happens quite often in our country, and it can happen in Uganda, too. Therefore, in respectful obedience to Ugandan law, I am reporting David Bahati as a possible homosexual."

    Hoist him by his own petard.

    Posted by: Ken | Nov 22, 2012 4:31:59 PM


  11. Do these people get any aid from the U.S.?

    Posted by: jaragon | Nov 22, 2012 5:11:27 PM


  12. I think our countries should stop sending aid to Uganda. I don't want my money being used for murder

    Posted by: Joseph | Nov 22, 2012 5:18:25 PM


  13. http://www.pepfar.gov/countries/uganda/index.htm

    For HIV alone...$898 million from 2009 to 2011

    Posted by: StatusQuo | Nov 22, 2012 7:32:09 PM


  14. http://www.allout.org/en/actions/uganda-now is a petition to the President of Uganda. More than 100,000 people have already signed this petition.

    Posted by: Jessica Naomi | Nov 22, 2012 8:25:27 PM


  15. Are ordinary Ugandans really that bloodthirsty that they want to kill more people? Wasn't the slaughter by Idi Amin's reign enough?

    Posted by: john patrick | Nov 22, 2012 8:31:02 PM


  16. I wish I could see their faces when they find out they're going to spend eternity in Hell.

    Posted by: Garst | Nov 22, 2012 8:42:29 PM


  17. i hate gays

    Posted by: charlie sloveck | Nov 22, 2012 8:50:57 PM


  18. I would like to see one of those Ugandans "pseudo" legislators reporting his/her own daughters/sons, brothers/sisters if this law is enacted. I bet "pardon" will only be a matter of who your relative is...

    SHAME....

    Posted by: ElCid | Nov 22, 2012 9:20:02 PM


  19. I would like to see one of those Ugandans "pseudo" legislators reporting his/her own daughters/sons, brothers/sisters if this law is enacted. I bet "pardon" will only be a matter of who your relative is...

    SHAME....

    Posted by: ElCid | Nov 22, 2012 9:20:03 PM


  20. Oh, and I bet ALL of them think of themselves as "good Christians/Catholics" or whatever religious label they use...

    SHAME....

    Posted by: ElCid | Nov 22, 2012 9:22:30 PM


  21. Just a reminder, here's the link to the President's We The People petition page:

    http://wh.gov/97ht

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Nov 22, 2012 10:15:57 PM


  22. Sick to my stomach.

    Posted by: bearish | Nov 22, 2012 10:57:17 PM


  23. Stupid. Stupid people. Just Stupid.

    Posted by: Datlaw | Nov 22, 2012 11:35:25 PM


  24. Salem witch hunts anyone, no one had proof back them, I doubt they will use it now, just call your neighbour 'gay' and he will be put to death..shocking.

    Posted by: Mydoona | Nov 23, 2012 2:51:19 AM


  25. They should bring back lynching to these ignorant baboons.

    Posted by: Palto | Nov 23, 2012 8:49:46 AM


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