U.K. Lawmakers Ask Uganda To Scrap Gay Death Bill

OutRage! is helping coordinate the UK campaign against the Bill, with the support of Ugandans living in Britain.

[Global: Diaspora]

More than 28 British Members of Parliament (MPs) have condemned Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

They have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM 575) in the UK Parliament, urging the scrapping of the Bill.

Support for the parliamentary motion comes from across the political spectrum, from left to right. Many more signatures are expected as MPs return to the House of Commons.

The EDM, drafted by east London Labour MP Harry Cohen, urges the Ugandan government  to “uphold international humanitarian law by abandoning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, decriminalizing same-sex acts between consenting adults in private, and outlawing discrimination against gay people.”

British MPs are especially appalled that the Bill proposes the death penalty for “serial offenders” –people who commit homosexual acts more than once– and life imprisonment for merely touching another person with homosexual intent.

“We hope this motion will send a signal from the British parliament to the Ugandan government that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill constitutes an outrageous attack on the human rights of Uganda’s lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens,” said Peter Tatchell of the London-based gay human rights group OutRage!

OutRage! is helping coordinate the UK campaign against the Bill, with the support of Ugandans living in Britain.

“Even if the death penalty is dropped, the Bill will still be unacceptable. It will still violate the equality guarantees of international human rights agreements, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” added Tatchell.

He added: “We support the many Ugandan people who oppose this homophobic witch-hunt. The scapegoating of gay Ugandans is reminiscent of the way Adolf Hitler scapegoated the Jewish people in Germany in the 1930s.

“Demonizing lesbians and gay men is a diversion from the real issues that blight the lives of many Ugandans: poverty, unemployment, low wages, disease, poor sanitation, dirty drinking water and inadequate health and education services.

“Uganda’s anti-gay laws were not devised by Ugandans. They were devised in London in the nineteenth century and imposed on the people of Uganda by the British colonisers and their army of occupation. Before the British came and conquered Uganda, there were no laws against homosexuality. These laws are a foreign imposition. They are not African laws.

“This Bill violates Article 21 of the constitution of Uganda, which guarantees equality and non-discrimination.


“It also breaches the equality and anti-discrimination clauses 2, 3, and 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which Uganda has signed and pledged to uphold.”



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