I’m passing along this press release from our Ugandan LGBT friends. If you have any African contacts, please encourage them to take action. Thanks.
RESIST, REJECT, OPPOSE THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL 2009 CURRENTLY TABLED IN THE UGANDA PARLIAMENT
(Please circulate to all your African contacts)
The COALITION OF AFRICAN LESBIANS (CAL), a pan African network of lesbian, bisexual and gender non-conforming people, organizations and individuals, calls upon every person who believes in the dignity, equality and freedom of every human being, to take note of and act urgently to halt the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which has just been re – tabled in Uganda. We look to African human rights activists and defenders, politicians, religious leaders, cultural leaders, scholars, lawyers, medical professionals, educators, parents and all human rights respecting and promoting individuals and institutions, to take such urgent action.
The draconian Bill was re-tabled in the Parliament of Uganda by Member of Parliament, David Bahati, on February 7, 2012. The Bill had its first reading and was referred to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny. The Committee is expected to examine it and conduct public hearings, and then it will report back to the House for a formal debate on the Bill.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 was first introduced in the Parliament of Uganda by Member of Parliament, David Bahati, as a Private Member’s Bill in October, 2009. The Bill proposes severe prison sentences, and in some cases the death penalty. It states that anyone who commits the offence of homosexuality will be liable to life imprisonment as the provisions, according to the Bill, are meant to “protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.” The Bill further states that “aggravated homosexuality” will be punished by death as it aims to ban all forms of expression advocating for homosexuality. It would also be an offence for a person who is aware of any violations of the Bill’s provisions not to report them to the authorities within 24 hours. Furthermore, the Bill proposes to criminalize the “promotion of homosexuality” which is a provision targeting civil society and human rights defenders. These and other provisions of the Bill go beyond targeting homosexuals, to affect families, human rights defenders, teachers, neighbors, friends, spiritual leaders, medical professionals, shop owners, to mention but a few.
Stand out and up against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 NOW. We have limited time. Resist this unconstitutional bill and take on one, some or all of the following actions;
1. Pass on this Call to Action to as many concerned Africans as you can and urge them to take action.
2. Write emails to and or call Ugandan Members of Parliament (MPs) urging them to resist and reject the Bill in its entirety because it is anti-human rights and affects every Ugandan in different ways. The full list of all 386 MPs can be found athttp://www.parliament.go.ug/mpdata/mps.hei Click on the MP’s name and you will get their email address and phone number. The MPs can also be contacted through social media such as Facebook. Just search for their name on Facebook and or Twitter.
3. Write to the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and urge him to reject this draconian proposed Bill in its entirety. Urge him to discourage further debate and consideration of the Bill by Parliament and to decline to sign this unconstitutional Bills into law. (Contacts below)
4. Write, call or fax the Inspector General of Police in Uganda, Major General Kale Kaihura, and urge him to ensure the protection of the human rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Uganda and those who defend LGBT people. This includes protection from both state and non-state actors who have started to take the law in their hands by harassing and violating LGBT Ugandans. (Contacts below)
5. Write, fax and or call the Minister of Justice in Uganda, Hon. Major General Kahinda Otafire, and the State Minister of Justice Hon. Fred Ruhindi and urge them to speak out against the unconstitutionality of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 and to discourage any further debate on the Bill. (Contacts below)
6. Write to the Minister of Health in Uganda, Hon. Dr. Christine Ondoa and bring to her attention the implications of this Bill on the fight against HIV/AIDS and on access to medical services by LGBT citizens. (Contacts below)
7. Write to the Cardinal of Uganda, His Eminence Emmanuel Wamala, and the Arch Bishop of the Church of Uganda , The Most Revd Henry Luke Orombi and urge them to stand out and up and oppose the Bill in its entirety. Tell them that homosexuals need their protection. Point out, to the Cardinal of the Catholic Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church which says in Article 6, 2358: The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. They are called to protect and not to remain silent amidst injustice and discrimination. (Contacts below)
8. Write, call, fax your Minister of Foreign Affairs and urge him/her to put pressure on the Government of Uganda against the further debating of the unconstitutional Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.
For more information, please contact;
Advocacy Advisor for East Africa
Coalition of African Lesbians
Tel: +27 11 918 2182
Mobile: +27 78 436 3635
Coalition of African Lesbians
Tel: +27 11 918 2182
The President of the Republic of Uganda
H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, cc: email@example.com
The Inspector General of Police
Major-General Kale Kaihura
Tel: +256 414 258 114
Fax : +256 414 270 502
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
Hon Maj.Gen Kahinda Otafire
Tel: +256-414- 230538
Fax: +256-414- 254829
State Minister of Justice
Hon. Fred Ruhindi
Minister of Health
Hon. Christine Ondoa
Mobile: +256772428346/ +256701428346
The Cardinal of the Catholic Church
His Eminence Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala
Tel: +256 414 510389/510570/510544/510571
Fax: +256 41 510545
Archbishop of Uganda & and Bishop of Kampala
The Most Revd Henry Orombi
Tel: +256 414 270 218 / 9
Fax: +256 414 251 925