Proposed genocidal law targeting GLB persons in Uganda
Responses to the proposed legislation:
2010-JAN to APR
"GLB" is an acronym referring to gays, lesbians,
and bisexuals. More commonly, the letter "T" is added to
refer to transgender persons and transsexuals. Sometimes "I" is added to refer
to intersexual persons.
2010-JAN-08: Senior Ugandan ministers disagree about the bill:
Aston Kajara, the state minister for investments, said: "The government's position is that the existing provisions in our penal code against homosexuality are strong enough and that this new bill is not necessary. ... The penal code already sufficiently covers this issue." The penal code provides for life imprisonment for same-sex sexual activity.
However, ethics Minister James Nsaba Buturo, is a strong supporter of the bill. He has repeatedly said that "homosexuals can forget about human rights," In 2009-DEC, he told reporters: "Nobody, nobody, nobody has the right to think for Ugandans. Nobody has the right to impose their values on a sovereign state."
Buturo said that Aston Kajara could not speak on behalf of government. He said: "I would be the right person to speak for government on this issue not Mr Kajara." 1
2010-JAN-15: UN Rights High Commissioner wants bill shelved:
Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights said:
"The bill proposes draconian punishments for people alleged to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender - namely life imprisonment or, in some cases, the death penalty. ...
The bill would have] "... a tremendously negative impact on the enjoyment of a range of fundamental human rights by homosexuals... as well as on parents, teachers, landlords, human rights defenders, medical professionals and HIV workers. To criminalize people on the basis of co lour or gender is now unthinkable in most countries. The same should apply to an individual's sexual orientation." 2
2010-FEB-17: Pastor shows gay pornographic movies in church:
Rev. Martin Ssempa downloaded gay porn videos from the Internet and showed them to about 100 adults during a church service Wednesday in Kampala, Uganda. He was apparently attempting to encourage support for Uganda's proposed anti-gay genocide law. He plans to repeat the showing regularly. He said that after watching the videos, some parishioners wept.
Julian Peppe, a gay human rights promoter suggested that Peppe should be arrested and needs mental rehabilitation. 3
2010-FEB-22: Forum held by Ugandan human rights group:
As of 2010-FEB, the bill is being debated in Parliament.
At a forum sponsored by a human rights agency, a reporter for Xtra, a gay-positive Canadian news source, asked MP Otto Odonga "Would you apply to be a hangman if the person to be hanged were your son? Odonga allegedly nodded yes. The forum's keynote speaker, Makau Mutua, denounced Odonga, saying: "I am baffled by the kind of hatred you spew against gay people, including your desire to be a hangman. ... There is something deeply wrong with you."
Another Member of Parliament, Christopher Kibanzanga, asked: "Who are bisexuals? What do they do? Has it just been imported into Africa?" He appears to have accepted the common belief that homosexual and bisexual sexual orientations were not indigenous to Africa but were ideas imported from the West.
Muta responded: "It’s important that we all try to expose ourselves to knowledge, to keep on growing. People who express extremist views are, in my view, always the ones who have read the least." 4
2010-APR-09: Uganda Parliamentary Panel comments on bill:
The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee in Uganda has the responsibility of reviewing bills before they are presented to the House.
Committee member Alex Ndeezi said: "I think it is useless and will not achieve what it intends to achieve."
Committee chairperson Stephen Tashyoba indicated that the draft law was not a priority. He said:
"As far as I am concerned, we really have more urgent matters to discuss like electoral reforms, which are already behind schedule." 5
2010-APR-26: Vigil in Washington DC:
A group of religious leaders held a vigil at the National City Christian Church to speak out against the "kill the gays" bill in Uganda, and the exportation of homophobia in the name of religion. The following video was posted on You Tube:
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.