Monday, November 2, 2009

France slams anti-homosexuality bill

France has joined the United States in publicly condemning Uganda's proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would vastly strengthen the country's anti-gay laws.

'France expresses deep concern regarding the bill currently before the Ugandan parliament,' the French foreign ministry said in a statement sent to AFP in Kampala on Monday.

'France reiterates its commitment to the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.'

In an opinion piece published in Uganda's Observer newspaper on Monday, the author of the bill, lawmaker David Bahati, argued that 'homosexuality is not a human right'.

'The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is a nice piece of legislation. It aims at holding the integrity of Ugandans high in the sky,' Bahati argued.

'The fact that the moral fabric of America and Europe has been put under siege by the supporters of this creeping evil of homosexuality should not suggest that we follow suit.'

Also on Monday, Human Rights Watch reported that four members of the US House of Representatives have written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the bill, arguing that its passage would undermine the effectiveness of American taxpayer funds spent in Uganda to help curb HIV and AIDS.

'This egregious bill represents one of the most extreme anti-equality measures ever proposed in any country,' Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in a letter, co-signed by three other lawmakers.

Last year, the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) spending in Uganda amounted to almost $US300 million ($A334 million), around 2.6 per cent of the Ugandan economy, Ros-Lehtinen noted.

'We believe the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would undermine the substantial US contribution to Uganda through PEPFAR and raise serious questions about the effectiveness of this global health investment,' she wrote.

Uganda's Minister for Ethics and Integrity James Nsaba Buturo said last week that Uganda has no intention of heeding the advice of foreigners on the issue of homosexuality.


Leonardo Ricardo said...

Minister Buturo is a very hardheaded/disturbed man...hopefully some common sense will win the day.

Josh Indiana said...

Gay Spirit Diary, a Gay Anglican blog, has linked here.

Heather said...

I find the notion that such legislation will hold the integrity of Uganda high in the sky almost laughable when, in fact, just the opposite will happen should this bill become law. A country with integrity is one that recognizes the value of each and every citizen; not one that teaches its' people to hate one another and to hate themselves. How can a people be strong when they are so full of self-loathing? People are strong when they feel empowered. A country will only be strong when all of its' parts are strong; when its' leaders learn to empower all of its' citizens. A hurting nation is not unlike a hurting body; when one part of the body is wounded it affects the entire being. Until such a time that all membes of a nation are considered whole and valuable that nation will be full of dis-ease. It will be a sick and hurting country not a country with integrity.

I will hold in my thoughts a vision that the leaders of Uganda will see the light and that they will learn to love as all truly great leaders have loved. Also, I will continue to spread the word of your plight to others.


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