December 06, 2009

Uganda Moving Forward With Bill Including Execution of Homosexuals

On the way home from work Friday I (Jim) saw a lone individual standing in the rain in front of the Ugandan embassy in Washington, DC protesting the law under consideration in that nation's parliment which, even in this day and age, could result in the execution of homosexuals. Please make as many people aware as possible of this potentially horrendous injustice to LGBT people. That lone protestor neeeds company.

Here is a story from PinkNews excerpting part of a strong editorial from The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. condemning this bill:

In a strongly worded leader column, The Guardian condemns Uganda's proposed law that could execute gay people or leave them facing lengthy prison sentences. The newspaper says that Sweden is right to suggest that aid to the country should be cut if the law is passed.

David Bahati, the MP for Ndorwa West in the Ugandan parliament, would not normally come to international attention. His name is becoming notorious, however, as the sponsor of a wretched piece of legislation intended to rile the west and torment an already suffering part of his country's population. Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill 2009, which is now before parliament, is unpleasant even by the standards of anti-gay laws around the world. Its supporters will decry any criticism as neocolonial interference, but the reality is that Uganda is being misled, not least by evangelical churches, some of which have links with the American Christian right.

The proposed law is more a rant against homosexuality and the west than a workable piece of legislation intended for Uganda itself. Much of it consists of a list of unfounded claims, starting with the statement that "same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic". Infamously, it calls for the execution of gay men found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality" – by which it means those who are HIV positive, or who have sex with someone who is under 18 or disabled. The bill may be amended during its passage through parliament to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment, but that change would be only a gesture to spare the blushes of Uganda's aid donors. If passed – which looks likely, since its sponsor is a member of Uganda's ruling party – the bill will continue to write hate into law.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

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