World: Uganda Wants Death Penalty For LGBTQ
The Huffington Post is reporting that, following visits by conservative American Christians, lawmaker David Bahati of Uganda is proposing a sweeping law aimed at LGBTQ Ugandans that includes life imprisonment or the death penalty for being gay, as well as severe penalties for those who rent homes to, employ, or fail to report homosexuals to the authorities:
The Ugandan legislation in its current form would mandate a death sentence for active homosexuals living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape. "Serial offenders" also could face capital punishment, but the legislation does not define the term. Anyone convicted of a homosexual act faces life imprisonment.While some African journalists and bloggers are characterizing the proposed legislation as aimed at those who knowingly infect others, especially children, with HIV, it is not clear that they are referring to the same legislation as the bill sponsored by Bahati. A request for clarification has not received a response.
Anyone who "aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage of acts of homosexuality" faces seven years in prison if convicted. Landlords who rent rooms or homes to homosexuals also could get seven years and anyone with "religious, political, economic or social authority" who fails to report anyone violating the act faces three years.
Although Bloomberg has since reported in an update from its Kampala bureau that both the proposed death penalty and life imprisonment have been dropped from the bill, this might well be a reaction to the outcry in other countries against this hideous legislation.
Peter Kent, Canadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has characterized the bill as "vile and hateful," and has stated that Canada would raise the issue with its Ugandan counterparts at a Commonwealth summit held in Trinidad and Tobago this weekend.
This blog agrees. The proposed legislation is against all ethics and all human rights laws, nationally and internationally. You simply *cannot* execute people for being who/what they are. Science has shown that homosexuality is genetically determined.
What You Can Do
The United States currently gives Uganda approximately $60 million annually in aid. Please contact your legislator and request that such aid be made contingent upon Uganda's observation of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please also contact the Ugandan Embassy in your country and voice your opposition to this law *politely*. You can reach the Ugandan Embassy in the U.S. here. You can also contact the Uganda Human Rights Commission to urge them to act on this. According to AllAfrica.com, Uganda is a signatory to the UDHR. Thank you.
Under Article 51 of the Constitution of Uganda, the UHRC, among other functions is mandated to monitor the government's compliance with Constitutional provisions and international human rights instruments on human rights. It is their duty to ensure that Mr. Bahati and President Museveni adhere to human rights standards.
Gay Americans are taxpayers, and we resent our taxes paying for the oppression and murder of our brothers and sisters anywhere in the world.
Christians, if you believe what Your Teacher taught, now is the time to speak up and stand with your gay brothers and sisters. Jesus would not have condoned the killing of people who have committed no wrong. If you feel it is wrong for a person to love someone of the same gender, remember that it is for your God, and not you, to judge. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. I shall repay.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, said your Jesus. Do not let your brethren in the fundamentalist church drag you all into opprobrium by condemning others to death.
In case you haven't seen it, Rachel Maddow has done a yeoman job of reportage on the event.