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LGBT Ugandans Fearful in Wake of Anti-gay Bill's Passage

Hoping to raise national and international awareness of their plight, LGBT Ugandans and allies warned Monday of the mounting violence and vitriol directed at homosexuals following the country's passage of its anti-gay bill last week. CNN reports:

Uganda"The witch hunt had already started, and now it has been legitimized by the parliament of Uganda, which is very scary," said Clare Byarugaba, coordinator for the Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, an umbrella gay-rights group. "We don't know how brutal the police will be now that the bill has passed. With this legitimization, it's going to get worse."

Homosexuality is illegal in most African countries, where sodomy laws were introduced during colonialism. Currently in Uganda, homosexual acts are punishable by 14 years to life in prison, according to rights activists. But lawmakers in the conservative nation sought tougher legislation, saying the Western lifestyle risks destroying Ugandan family units.

Gay activists in Uganda are regularly detained, blackmailed and harassed in what they say has been an ongoing campaign led by religious and political leaders in the conservative East African country.

"What we are convinced and sure of is that nobody can in one's right conscience and consciousness choose to be homosexual," said Simon Lokodo, Uganda's minister for Ethics and Integrity. "This must be under pressure or conditions because we know that the natural tendency is always for a male to go for a female and vice-versa."

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance has also warned of the bill's "disastrous impact on the country's HIV response." Uganda is one of only two countries in Africa with a rising AIDS rate.

The bill awaits President Yoweri Museveni's signature. 

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  1. The Obama administration and the State Dept. gave weak condemnations against the anti-gay law passed in Uganda. But it is not enough. There must be a vociferous condemnation and threats of sanctions and/or diminution of diplomatic relations, perhaps a forced reduction of the Ugandan diplomatic mission. But, definitely, the U.S. must consider offering asylum to LGBT Ugandans. Our former Sec'y of State said at the United Nations that "gay rights are human rights". It is time to make good on that statement! The U.S. government, particularly the Justice Dept. must now grow a pair and consider prosecuting American evangelicals who have actively lobbied the Ugandan government and other foreign governments such as Russia for those governments to pass such restrictive, oppressive and dangerous legislation. Such lobbying is against U.S. law and is a punishable offense. Write your Congressional representative, your Senator, the State Dept. We cannot sit back and let the coming atrocities happen in Uganda.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 27, 2013 3:00:39 PM

  2. COMPLETELY unacceptable

    Posted by: human | Dec 27, 2013 3:50:41 PM

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