Issues Concerning Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual and other Sexual Minorities in Uganda and Africa
Friday, October 30, 2009
**A CALL TO ACTION**
DENOUNCE THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL IN THE PARLIAMENT OF UGANDA. PROTEST AT THE UGANDA DIPLOMATIC MISSION IN YOUR COUNTRY
Dear Partners, Allies and Friends,
As you already know, the "Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009." was recently tabled before the Parliament of Uganda. The Bill's provisions are draconian and among them are;
• 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 $ 2,650.00 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, hence further undermining public health efforts
to combat the spread of HIV;
• All of the offences covered by the Bill as drafted can be applied to a Ugandan citizen who allegedly commits them - even outside Uganda!
The existing law has already been employed in an arbitrary way, and the Bill will just exacerbate that effect. There is a continued increase in campaigns of violence and unwarranted arrests of homosexuals. There are
eight ongoing cases in various courts. Four accused persons are unable to meet the harsh bail conditions set against them. As a result, Brian Pande died in Mbale Hospital on 13th September, 2009 as he awaited trial.
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) calls upon you our partner, ally and/or friend to action. Denounce this bill through a protest at a Ugandan Diplomatic Mission in your country on November 9th 2009, where applicable.
Urge the Government of Uganda to reject this Bill in its entirety.
For your reference, please find attached two press statements released by SMUG and Ugandan Civil Society as well as a copy of the bill that was tabled in parliament.
Thank you for standing in solidarity with the Uganda LGBTI community.