Posts Tagged 'Kill the Gays Bill'

Uganda Passes Odious Anti-LGBT Law

cge-reblog-ugandadec20The Council for Global Equality joins our colleagues in Uganda and around the world in condemning the adoption today of a harsh, anti-gay law that sentences LGBT Ugandans to life in prison. President obama condemned an earlier version of the bill — substantially quite similar to the bill that now has passed — in simple and forceful terms as “odious.” With global condemnation and the weight of history in the balance, we urge Uganda’s president to reject this assault on the fundamental rights of his fellow citizens.  Passage of this legislation is all the more shocking because a sweeping, anti-gay law also moved forward this week in Nigeria, while Russia continues its own legal assault on its LGBT citizens in advance of the Sochi Olympics.  At year’s end, when people around the world are celebrating the blessings of the year past and the promise of the year to come, we mourn that such intolerance prevails.

Related Content:

Ugandan MPs pass life in jail anti-homosexual law: BBC News

Uganda Passes Tough New Bill Against Homosexuality: Associated Press

Uganda’s “anti-homosexuality” bill will have a disastrous impact on country’s HIV response: by Retuers


Court Allows Lawsuit Against U.S. Pastor for Helping with Uganda Anti-Gay Bill

Repost from the Washington Blade

A federal district court in Massachusetts announced on Wednesday it will allow a case to proceed against evangelical Christian Scott Lively for unlawfully fomenting anti-gay sentiment in Uganda and encouraging passage of the country’s pending “Kill the Gays” bill.

In a 79-page decision denying summary judgment in favor of Lively, U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor refers the case to Magistrate Judge Kenneth Neiman for a pretrial scheduling conference.

“The history and current existence of discrimination against LGBTI people is precisely what qualifies them as a distinct targeted group eligible for protection under international law,” Ponsor writes. “The fact that a group continues to be vulnerable to widespread, systematic persecution in some parts of the world simply cannot shield one who commits a crime against humanity from liability.”

Lively, president of the California-based Abiding Truth Ministries, is known for advocating that gay people should be jailed — even in countries overseas. In 2009, Lively was one of three pastors who went to Uganda to deliver a series of talks on the threat of homosexuality to African society. Continue Reading

Visiting Evangelist Assures Uganda’s LGBTI “Not all American Christian Preachers are Anti-Gay”

A visiting American evangelist, Pastor Joseph Tolton, has criticised Uganda’s Anti Homosexuality Bill saying the conservative US evangelicals who backed the legislation “have lost the moral and cultural war.”

The controversial bill seeks the death penalty for homosexuals and is often referred to as the “Kill the Gays Bill.”

Tolton said that intolerance to sexual diversity had rendered the conservatives unable to cope with realities of life.

Tolton, who says he is “on a mission to Uganda to reassure Ugandan homosexuals of God’s love” told Behind the Mask in an exclusive interview in Kampala, that he would seek to address the influence US conservatives and their opposition to same sex relationships in Africa.

“It is spiritual colonialism,” said Tolton who is described by the US National Black Justice Coalition website as a man who “enjoys a three-faceted career serving the gay and lesbian community as a voice for spiritual freedom, social justice and economic empowerment.” Continue Reading

A global look at LGBT gains and loses

After a month of LGBT Pride celebrations with lots to celebrate at home and abroad we still have lots of work to do, Reed Karaim gives us an in-depth look at the state of LGBT human rights around the globe.

Repost from CQ Global Researcher Gay Rights

By some measures, the last 10 years could be considered the “Gay Rights” decade, with countries around the world addressing concerns of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community. Beginning with the Netherlands in 2001, gay marriage metamorphosed almost overnight from a largely ridiculed notion to a legal reality in at least 10 countries. Sixteen other nations recognized same-sex civil unions. Nevertheless, homosexual acts remain illegal in most of Africa and the Muslim world, with severe penalties for anyone found guilty of the crime. If Uganda approves a proposal to criminalize repeated homosexual activity, it will join the five other countries (and parts of Somalia and Nigeria) where homosexual activity is punishable by death. In Russia and other Eastern European countries, gay and lesbian “pride parades” have sometimes met with violent responses, leading some observers to believe a backlash against rapid gay and lesbian advances may be developing in parts of the world. Continue reading by downloading the pdf (even though you can download the pdf here, we urge you buy your own copy from CQ Press).

Uganda’s Current Parliamentary Session Closed Without Vote on Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Uganda Parliament

photo: Andrew Regan

May 13, 2011 – After two years of dangerous discussion, the current parliamentary session in Uganda closed today without a vote on the “anti-homosexuality” bill.  The coordinator of the civil society coalition opposing the bill, Adrian Jjuuko, put it this way: “The Ugandan parliament has closed today. . . . Thus the Anti-Homosexuality Bill has to be reintroduced in the new parliament and the whole process to begin all over again.  Thank you all for the efforts and solidarity in fighting this ominous bill. The struggle may have to begin all over again, but for now, the process is over.”

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in 2009.  It was an affront to the lives and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Ugandans and a threat to democracy and human rights throughout the country.  Indeed, it was the most extreme attempt by any country anywhere to criminalize same-sex relations and relationships, even imposing the death penalty in certain cases.  It also would have criminalized those who provide assistance to LGBT citizens, including medical professionals, family members, pastors or civil society organizations that support the fundamental rights of the country’s LGBT community.

A broad coalition of human rights leaders in Uganda came together to denounce the bill, insisting that it was a backward-looking attempt to divert attention away from growing civil unrest in the country, and from the alarming violence unleashed by the authorities in recent weeks to suppress peaceful protests.  Uganda’s own Human Rights Commission called the bill unconstitutional and inconsistent with the country’s human rights obligations.

The bill could be introduced in the next parliament, which convenes later this month.  And although never adopted, the debate around it has already created an atmosphere of extreme hostility and led to acts of targeted violence against LGBT citizens.  But for now, the brave civil society leaders who stood up to oppose the bill should take pride in their work to protect human rights for all Ugandans.  We are also grateful for the committed response of U.S. foreign policy leaders in the White House, the State Department and Congress who have engaged in a dialogue with Ugandan authorities for nearly two years to highlight the harms caused by this proposal.

Is Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill being used to blind the World?

Press Release from Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional law Uganda (CSCHRCL)

Just days after opposition leader Colonel Kizza Besigye was deliberately blinded with pepper spray while on his way to work, the internationally reviled Anti-Homosexuality Bill was brought back to Parliament for public hearings in preparation for the second reading. Speculation is rife that the Bill, once believed to have been permanently shelved by Cabinet in light of its many absurdities, is being used to blind the world to everything else that is going on in Uganda right now. Alternatively that re-opening the discussion about a backwards looking and harmful proposal is symptomatic of a more general problem of weak governance.

Whatever the case may be, Uganda is struggling to come to terms with rampant inflation, teargas and mass arrests on an unprecedented scale: As civil society protests the draconian crack-down on protesters and opposition, it is clear that if the hate-filled Kill the Gays Bill is passed, it will finish the process of burying alive not just the sexual minorities of Uganda, but also all those who support the principles of constitutionalism, human rights for all, inclusivity, and democratic governance.

Continue reading the press release here.

More information on the Anti-Homosexuality bill can be found here

NPR reports on the Anti-Gay Atmosphere Permeating Uganda

Listen to Barbara Bradley Hagerty’s report on the anti-gay atmosphere permeating Uganda. The story includes audio from her interview with the “kill the gays” bill author David Bahati as well as audio from Bishop Christopher Senyonjo.

Listen Here.

Gays in Africa face growing persecution, activists say

repost from the Washington Post

By Sudarsan Raghavan
Washington Post | Foreign Service
Sunday, December 12, 2010; A12

KAMPALA, UGANDA – Persecution of gays is intensifying across Africa, fueled by fundamentalist preachers, intolerant governments and homophobic politicians. Gay people have been denied access to health care, detained, tortured and even killed, human rights activists and witnesses say.

The growing tide of homophobia comes at a time when gays in Africa are expressing themselves more openly, prompting greater media attention and debates about homosexuality. The rapid growth of Islam and evangelical forms of Christianity, both espousing conservative views on family values and marriage, have persuaded many Africans that homosexuality should not be tolerated in their societies.

“It has never been harder for gays and lesbians on the continent,” said Monica Mbaru, Africa coordinator for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, based in Cape Town. “Homophobia is on the rise.”

Fearing for their lives, many activists are in hiding or have fled their countries.

In Uganda, a bill introduced in parliament last year would impose the death penalty for repeated same-sex relations and life imprisonment for other homosexual acts. Local newspapers are outing gays, potentially inciting the public to attack them, activists say.

A day after a newspaper article said that gays should be hanged, Sheila Hope Mugisha became a target. As the prominent gay rights activist neared her home, she said, boys from the neighborhood threw stones at the gate and chanted, “You are a homo.” Mugisha ran inside and locked the door. She didn’t leave for several days.

“Here, homosexuality is like you have killed someone,” she said.

American gay activists have sent money to help the community here. Western governments – including aid donors – have vocally criticized the bill and denounced the treatment of gays.

That has angered conservative pastors here, many of whom are influenced by American anti-gay Christian groups and politicians who say that African values are under attack by Western attitudes. They say their goal is to change the sexual behavior of gays, not to physically harm them.

“In Uganda, we look at homosexuality as an abomination. It is not normal,” said Nsaba Butoro, Uganda’s minister on ethics and integrity and a vocal supporter of the bill. “You are talking about a clash of cultures. The question is: Which culture is superior, the African one or the Western one?” Continue Reading

Rachel Maddow exposes the stereotypes and prejudice that animate David Bahati

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

The Council was pleased to see Rachel Maddow expose the stereotypes and prejudice that animate David Bahati, the parliamentarian who authored the “anti-homosexuality” bill in Uganda, on her show this evening.  Mr. Bahati claims his bill will protect children and families of Uganda.  To the contrary, it criminalizes LGBT individuals and families, and in the words of President Obama, it is simply “odious.”

Mr. Bahati this evening suggested that the parliament could pass the bill without a death penalty provision, but life in prison is hardly a compromise.  LGBT relations and relationships must never be criminalized, nor should the work of human rights advocates who defend LGBT rights or public health officials who reach out to vulnerable individuals who are most at risk of HIV infection.   In the words of Secretary Clinton, “gay rights are human rights,” in the United States, Africa and everywhere else.

We are pleased that the State Department showed good judgment in granting Mr. Bahati a very limited, single-entry visa.  It was issued for the sole purpose of Bahati’s request to attend a public financial management conference in Washington this week.  We note that Mr. Bahati abused that privilege and has instead used his visit to the United States to promote his assault on Uganda’s LGBT community through appearances on the Rachel Maddow show and in other U.S. media outlets.  We hope the U.S. embassy will take note of his true agenda in the United States, which appears incompatible with his visa request, and that officials will weigh his record of deceit against any future request by him for another U.S. visa.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Resolution Opposing Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009

by Ty Cobb of Human Rights Campaign | As posted on HRC’s Back Story Blog

Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a senate resolution (S. Res. 409) by voice vote that calls on members of the Parliament in Uganda to reject the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009.  The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 would make homosexuality in Uganda punishable by life imprisonment or even death.  The bill was introduced in Uganda’s parliament on October 13, 2009, where it remains pending. Read more.

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