Protests against Ugandan homophobic bill


This video from the USA says about itself:

The Rainbow Sash Movement is calling on President Obama not to attend this prayer breakfast with David Bahati sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation in February. Murdering people based on homophobia is wrong for individuals as it is for Nations such as Uganda.

From IRIN:

Uganda: Online Protest Keeps Spotlight On Anti-Gay Bill

2 March 2010

Kampala — More than 450,000 people have signed an online petition urging Uganda’s parliament to drop a bill that would impose the death sentence for the crime of “aggravated homosexuality” – when an HIV-positive person has sex with anyone who is disabled or under the age of 18.

Presenting the petition to the speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Edward Ssekandi, on 1 March, AIDS activists – including founder of national NGO, The AIDS Support Organization, Noerine Kaleeba and Canon Gideon Byamugisha, the first religious leader to publicly declare that he was living with HIV – said if the bill was passed, it would roll back the gains made in fighting HIV in Uganda.

Responding to the petition, Ssekandi said it could not be withdrawn at this stage, not even by the MP who tabled it; but he assured the activists that their concerns would be passed on to the legislature.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 – a private member’s bill first tabled by ruling party MP David Bahati in October 2009 – is due for discussion this month. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, but the new law would impose more stringent punishments for homosexual activity, while compelling people in authority with knowledge of such activity to report it or face criminal charges.

“The bill creates a situation where [homosexual] people living with HIV will be denied treatment,” said Major Rubaramira Ruranga, a retired army officer who has lived publicly with HIV for more than two decades. “We do not need a new law that picks one section of society and says this should be punished,” he added.

However, Ruranga said there was one positive aspect to the controversy. “[The bill] is an opportunity – whether it is passed or not – because people will begin to talk about sexuality,” he said.

Stigma

“It is not easy to access medical services; we have private people who treat us but they charge us [a great deal] because they are very few,” said Julian Pepe Onziema, programmes coordinator of the rights group, Sexual Minorities Uganda. “When you go to the doctor you have to give them a medical history; the bill will make this even harder.”

AIDS activists also argue that the continued stigmatization of homosexuality will drive homosexuals and bisexuals further underground, reducing their access to HIV prevention and care services and increasing their vulnerability to HIV. Men who have sex with men are considered a most at-risk population, but there are no national HIV strategies addressing their needs.

“If the government does not come out to help minorities, HIV is coming back; I know many married people who are bi-sexual,” said Dennis Wamala, programmes coordinator for Ice Breakers, a local gay rights organization.

“Family values”

Debate on the bill will go ahead despite Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni distancing himself from it amid calls from international leaders for its withdrawal. President Barack Obama in February referred to the bill as “odious”, noting that it was “unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are”.

The bill’s agenda is to strengthen the nation’s capacity to deal with “emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family” and to protect Uganda’s “cherished culture”.

Roman Catholic and Anglican leaders have rejected the bill, but have said they will back it if the death penalty clause is removed.

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Uganda: Campaign against death penalty for gays: here.

Scotland: A third of LGBT people in Edinburgh have been physically assaulted but only 15 per cent reported incidents to police, a small survey has suggested: here.

USA: US Army Lt Dan Choi chained himself to the White House fence on Thursday afternoon to protest over the ban on out gay soldiers: here.

Uganda Allows Drilling and Gas Flaring in the African Queen Papyrus Swamp: here.

4 thoughts on “Protests against Ugandan homophobic bill

  1. The Monitor (Kampala)

    Uganda: Bahati Faces UK Travel Ban over Bill

    Rodney Muhumuza

    21 April 2010

    Kampala — British authorities have started a process that could leave Ndorwa West MP David Bahati banned from visiting the UK if his anti-gay legislation becomes law, The Guardian reported on Monday.

    This move is the work of civil servants in the Foreign Office, the UK Border Agency and the Department for International Development, the UK newspaer said, quoting an anonymous government official who said the gay issue could become a “major diplomatic incident if the Ugandans do not back down”.

    An official at the British High Commission in Kampala was reluctant to discuss the case. “I can’t actually comment on this case, but what I can say is that we haven’t considered any Ugandans for exclusion at this moment,” Mr Chris Wood said.

    Mr Bahati yesterday said he would “go ahead and defend the future of our children”.

    The draft legislation proposes the death penalty for those found having sex with a minor or with a disabled person, as well as for those who infect their gay partners with HIV. It also proposes life imprisonment in the case of gay sex involving consenting adults.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Ugandan opposition suppressed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Ugandan homophobic law and United States religious fundamentalists | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: US religious fundamentalists behind Ugandan gay death penalty scheme | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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