By Jueseppi B.
Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill
The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill (often called the “Kill the Gays bill” in the media due to the originally proposed death penalty clauses) was passed by the Parliament of Uganda on 20 December 2013 with the death penalty proposal dropped in favour of life in prison. The bill must be signed by the President of Uganda before becoming law.
The legislative proposal would broaden the criminalization of same-sex relations in Uganda domestically, and further includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations that know of gay people or support LGBT rights.
The private member’s bill was submitted by Member of Parliament David Bahati on 14 October 2009. Same-sex relationships are currently illegal in Uganda—as they are in many sub-Saharan African countries—punishable by incarceration in prison for up to 14 years. A special motion to introduce the legislation was passed a month after a two-day conference was held in which three American Christians asserted that homosexuality is a direct threat to the cohesion of African families. Several sources have noted endemic homophobia in Uganda has been exacerbated by the bill and the associated discussions about it.
The bill, the government of Uganda, and the evangelicals involved have received significant international media attention as well as criticism and condemnation from many Western governments and those of other countries, some of whom have threatened to cut off financial aid to Uganda. The bill has also received protests from international LGBT, human rights, civil rights, and scientific organisations. In response to the attention, a revision was introduced to reduce the strongest penalties for the greatest offences to life imprisonment. Intense international reaction to the bill, with many media outlets characterizing it as barbaric and abhorrent, caused President Yoweri Museveni to form a commission to investigate the implications of passing it. The bill was held for further discussion for most of 2010. In May 2011, parliament adjourned without voting on the bill; in October 2011 debate was re-opened. Bahati re-introduced the bill in February 2012.
In November 2012, Uganda agreed to pass a new law against homosexuality by the end of 2012 as a “Christmas gift” to its advocates, according to the speaker of parliament. Although the death penalty was originally planned to be included in the bill, the Legal Affairs Committee has reported verbally that there is the recommendation to drop the death penalty. The final version did not include the death penalty.
Parliament adjourned in May 2011 without voting on the bill; Bahati stated that he intended to re-introduce the bill in the new parliament. In August 2011, the cabinet discussed the bill, deciding unanimously that current laws making homosexuality illegal were sufficient. Parliament voted to reopen debate in October 2011, with Speaker Kadaga stating that the bill would be sent to committee. According to Bloomberg News, President Museveni would probably veto the bill under international pressure. Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has vowed to pass the bill in 2012.
The bill is now listed as number eight under “Business to Follow” for 2013. At this stage, no changes to the bill have been presented. It has been reported that the members of the Ugandan Parliament are looking to hold debate behind closed doors. National Youth MP, Monica Amoding, told The Observer that some MPs on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee proposed the move because of the sensitive nature of the bill. “This subject is very sensitive and some of us fear that if it is discussed in public view, we will be persecuted for holding particular views,” Amoding said.
On 14 February 2014, Museveni announced his decision to sign the bill. According to the government, his decision was based on a report by “medical experts” who say “homosexuality is not genetic but a social behavior.”
The White House released a statement to The Advocate, stating that United States president Barack Obama “strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history”. Secretary of State Hillary Clintonhas expressed her opposition of the bill and U.S. congressmen Tom Coburn (R-OK), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) have likewise stated theirs.
The Welsh Assembly Government says that it will not cut its £75,000 aid to Uganda, despite objection of the bill. Welsh officials state that the aid is for the city of Mbale and not the Ugandan government.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kampala’s sister city, the city council passed a resolution opposing the bill.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2014
As a country and a people, the United States has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights. We believe that people everywhere should be treated equally, with dignity and respect, and that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, no matter who they are or whom they love.
That is why I am so deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda. It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights.
As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda. At a time when, tragically, we are seeing an increase in reports of violence and harassment targeting members of the LGBT community from Russia to Nigeria, I salute all those in Uganda and around the world who remain committed to respecting the human rights and fundamental human dignity of all persons.
THE ANTI HOMOSEXUALITY BILL.
1.1. The principle
The object of this Bill is to establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting (i) any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; and (ii) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any Government entity in Uganda or any non governmental organization inside or outside the country.
This Bill aims at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.
This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic.
The Bill further aims at providing a comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect the cherished culture of the people of Uganda. legal, religious, and traditional family values of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda.
There is also need to protect the children and youths of Uganda who are made vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviation as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technologies, parentless child developmental settings and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption, foster care, or otherwise.
2.1. Defects In existing law.
This proposed legislation is designed to fill the gaps in the provisions of other laws in Uganda e.g. the Penal Code Act Cap. 120.
The Penal Code Act (CapI20) has no comprehensive provision catering for anti homosexuality. It focuses on unnatural offences under section 145 and lacks provisions for penalizing the procurement, promoting, disseminating literature and other pornographic materials concerning the offences of homosexuality hence the need for legislation to provide for charging, investigating, prosecuting, convicting and sentencing of offenders.
This legislation comes to complement and supplement the provisions of the Constitution of Uganda and the Penal Code Act Cap 120 by not only criminalizing same sex marriages but also same-sex sexual acts and other related acts.
3.0. The objectives of the Bill
The objectives of the Bill are to:
(a) provide for marriage in Uganda as that contracted only between a man and a woman;
(b) prohibit and penalize homosexual behavior and related practices in Uganda as they constitute a threat to the traditional family;
(e) prohibit ratification of any international treaties, conventions, protocols, agreements and declarations which are contrary or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act;
(d) prohibit the licensing of organizations which promote homosexuality.
3.1. Part I of the Bill incorporating clause 1 provides for preliminary mailers relating to interpretation of the words and phrases used in the Bill.
3.2. Part II of the Bill incorporating clause 2 to 6 prohibits homosexuality and related practices by introducing the offences of engaging In homosexuality, and the penalties of imprisonment upon conviction. This pan also provides for protection, assistance and support for victims of homosexuality.
3.3. Part III of the Bill incorporating clause 7 to clause 14 creates offences and penalties for acts that promote homosexuality, failure to report the offence and impose a duty on the community to report suspected cases of homosexuality.
3.4. Part IV of the Bill incorporating clause 15 to clause 17 provides for the jurisdiction of Uganda Courts in case of Homosexuality, including extra territorial jurisdiction.
3.5. Part V of the Bill incorporating clauses 18 and 19 provides for miscellaneous provisions on International Treaties, Protocols. Declarations and conventions and the Minister to make regulations to give effect to the Act.
Schedule of the Bill gives the value of the currency point.
HON DAVID BAHATI,
Member of Parliament, Ndorwa County West Kabale.
To read the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill in it’s entirety follow the link: Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Rescue Fund to Help LGBT People Escape Africa
From My good friend, sister and fellow blogger Ms. Dr. Rex:
~~February 16, 2014~~
THIS IS HAPPENING!! PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AND CONTRIBUTE .. DOESN’T MATTER THE AMOUNT!!
Melanie Nathan from the blog O-blog-dee-o-blog-da has started this Rescue Fund to help persecuted LGBT Africans. Check the story below.
“I have established a Rescue Fund to help persecuted LGBT Africans escape from their countries, as well as supporting safe housing, and quests for asylum.
I was born in South Africa and became an attorney during the Apartheid era, before immigrating to the U.S.A. in 1985. I am a former Marin County Human Rights Commissioner, and founder of Private Courts, a conflict resolution and global human rights advocacy firm based in the Bay Area.
All my advocacy work has been pro bono.
I blog at O-blog-dee-o-blog-da and use my writing as a platform for my advocacy work.
I learned at a young age about the Holocaust and scapegoating and the importance of Jews in the Diaspora to help others escape persecution. As a member of the global LGBT community I could not sit back and ignore the plea for help generated by my writing, from Africa’s LGBTI community.
The letters I have received will break your heart and they are numerous.
While the US has made strides in equality for LGBT people, African countries such as Uganda and Nigeria have passed Draconian legislation, that has served to increase persecution against gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
Currently LGBTI people are being arrested, taunted, paraded in front of press, outed in tabloids, seized and assaulted in incidence of mob justice, and all this after being rejected, ostracized by family, friends and Government alike. They are terified and have nowhere to turn, as President Museveni is poised to sign a Bill that will put many of them in prison for life.
~~This is URGENT~~
Most of the persecuted are from Uganda where the President is about to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which mandates Life in prison for gays.
The stories of rejection by parents, family and friends, the arrests under these laws and resulting assaults, insidious mob justice are horrendous. Many fear for their lives.
By contributing to this Rescue Fund you will help me to save more gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people from Africa escape terrifying persecution. For some this is a matter of life or death.
I have been doing this since 2010 and can no longer do it alone.
The need is far too great.
~~WHAT WE NEED~~
We need to raise as much as possible – there will be many more to help. The more we raise, the more we can do. This is how the funds will be used:
I have a list of 20 people who have been verified and need to escape from Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gambia and the list is growing. 100% of the funds raised will be used for fees for passports, visas, transport out of the countries, and safe shelter and food, pending escape:
Minimum per person is $3,250 approximately:
$100 pays for passport
$200 pays for a visa
$350 provides food and shelter for a month in Africa pending escape
$1,100 – $1,600 buys an air ticket – or
Place of settlement – $1,000 travel cash
Legal fees – pro bono/ accommodation donated.
At this time there is not a single USA organization addressing this problem of direct funding to help victims escape. Please write to me if you have specific questions you would like answered.
I will love to help more than 6 people. I have kept my goal low -$19,500. Though I would love to help all 20 for approximately $65,000.
Unfortunately without air tickets and visas, some people may have to escape across borders and in such event $800 each will cover immediate costs. This is not ideal as those people are usually housed in African refugee camps and it takes over 18 months for the UN to resettle them. Often their nightmare continues….
Ultimate Savior: Just last week, Edie Windsor, the Plaintiff from the U.S.A. Supreme Court case which ruled The Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and who was named Times Magazine #3 Person of The Year, signed a South African Gay Flag for me and agreed that I could use it to raise money for LGBT asylees. I will award this beautiful flag to the person who donates the most money over $3,250. The Gay Flag of South Africa has received National status. One day Edie’s autograph will be worth a lot of money.
Air ticket Provider: I will also provide an Elie Wiesel Silver Coin, in a descriptive 4 page sleeve pack, newly released by Mint of Norway, and in limited edition to be purchased from the South African Gold Coin Exchange, to the first 10 people who provide more than $500 donation. (pic below)
Passport Provider: I will provide Nelson Mandela Coins (gold colored made from metal BU) depicting the image of Nelson Mandela with the words “A Long Walk to Freedom”, donated by The South African Gold Coin Exchange to the first 20 people who donate $100 or more. (pic below)
I do not have much to offer in return for contributions, other than the satisfaction of knowing that you may have contributed to the saving of a life.”
Full Credit for writing/Information/Pictures:O-blog-dee-o-blog-da
Rescue Fund for Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender people persecuted and trapped in African countries that criminalize their sexuality
This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal. Funding duration: February 15, 2014 – March 17, 2014 (11:59pm PT)
Other Ways You Can Help
- Please use Indiegogo share tools to spread the word, use Facebook and social media to get the word out –
- Lets save lives together!
Help make it happen for Melanie Nathan! Contribute to Rescue Fund to Help LGBT People Escape Africa.