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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Ugandan Speaker taunts world vowing to revive Kill the Gays Bill

The Kill the Gay’s Bill may be back as  the Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has indicated her intention to revive it.
The Speaker, who was addressing a cross section of religious leaders upon her return from Canada where she attended the 127th Inter Parliamentary Union Assembly, said she would not be intimidated by any western power about her position on homosexuality.
This is the report as it appears on the website of Uganda’s Parliament:
“I will instruct the Chair of the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to bring the report on the Anti Homosexuality Bill, so that we can consider it,” she said, Monday night. The Anti Homosexuality Bill, a private Members draft law was moved by MP David Bahati during the Eighth Parliament.
The biased anti-gay Parliamentary report notes:
“It seeks to establish a comprehensive legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between people of the same sex; and the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions as healthy, normal or an acceptable lifestyle, including in the public schools, through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any non- governmental organization inside or outside the country.
During the IPU Assembly held in Quebec, Canada, Hon. Kadaga protested assertions by the Canadian Foreign Minister that Uganda was intolerant to homosexuals.
“If homosexuality is a value for the people of Canada, they should not seek to force Uganda to embrace it. We are not a colony or a protectorate of Canada,” she said while in Canada.
Upon her return, the Speaker said that delegates from several other countries were happy with her statement but were afraid to speak out.
“I did not realize I was speaking for the entire world; Africa, the Arab world, Latin America and western countries; delegates told me ‘you were speaking for all of us.’ They had no courage to respond to (the Canadian Foreign Minister),” she said.
She added, “I will not accept to be intimidated or directed by any government in the world. If the price of aid is accepting homosexuality, we can reject the aid.”
The welcome ceremony included Parliament Commissioners, MPs, the former Minister of Ethics, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, advocates against homosexuality and several students, who carried placards in support of the Speaker’s position and urging Parliament to urgently approve the Anti Homosexuality Bill.”
The Anti-homosexuality Bill  has languished in Uganda’s parliamentary system for years and has failed to reach a vote. It is said that because it is a private member Bill, that President Museveni does not have the power to veto the bill if passed.
The legislation, if passed in whatever form, will legitimate the already existing persecution against Uganda’s LGBTI community. It outlaws so called “promotion of homosexuality,” establishes the death penalty for so called “repeat offenders” and includes severe terms of imprisonment for any person caught having a relationship with a member of the same sex.  It further call for harsh penalties for those who fail to report gays and lesbians.  That could include a parent, a teacher, a doctor or member of the clergy.
President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have called for the demise of criminalization of homosexuality in Africa, with special reference to this legislation as  human rights infraction. However the Ugandans who promote the bill have stood firmly behind the notion that their sovereignty excuses them from adherence to international standards of human rights.
The UK government has threatened to cut AID to Uganda if the bill passes.
In truth what will happen is the inability of US and other western corporate interests to continue to function normally in Uganda if the bill passes. This will be a result of the diversity policies that some companies adhere to, where they openly employ LGBT people through diversity programs that foster full inclusion. Such employers would be considered accessories under Ugandan law and it would mean they could be subjecting staff to long terms in prison, for not outing fellow gay staff members.
I shudder to think about the future of American help for Uganda’s gay community if Romney were President of the U.S.A.  He has given no indication as to what a Romney/ Ryan administration would do if the Kill the Gays law were to pass. Would they provide the support of an Obama administration?  Given his bigoted rhetoric and his stance against LGBT Americans, it is highly unlikely that Romney would help persecuted gay Ugandans.

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