Anti-Homosexuality Bill could mean a death sentence for LGBT People in Uganda

Uganda is a country where the human rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) community have been stripped away by anti-gay legislation already on the books. The country’s LGBT community has a history of being harassed and silenced by the government and the Ugandan police. A new bill is now being proposed that goes even further by imposing sentences ranging from seven years in prison to death for either being gay or supporting anyone who is. The new Anti-Homosexuality Bill being considered by Uganda’s Parliament proposes a life sentence for engaging in “homosexual activity” and the death sentence for “aggravated homosexuality”.  The bill also imposes a sentence of seven years in prison for anyone providing protection or assistance to LGBT individuals, threatening the valuable work of human rights activists and organizations operating in Uganda.

If this bill is allowed to pass it could have global ripple effects for LGBT activists all over the world. Even Ugandans living abroad, under the proposed bill, could face extradition and imprisonment if charged with being homosexual or in aiding homosexuals in Uganda. If past harassment of the Ugandan LGBT community is any indicator, the proposed bill would likely lead to witch hunts, more harassments, violence, and even extrajudicial executions. The bill’s “nullification” of international treaties that would offer a form of protection or recourse for Uganda’s LGBT people and LGBT activists further limits the role of international bodies and governments.

The proposed bill has garnered attention in the U.S. due to a recent New York Times article citing a link between recent visits by anti-gay American evangelicals and the introduction of the bill. Discussion between anti-gay American evangelicals and conservative elements within the Ugandan government regarding the threat of homosexuality may have been the match that lit the fuel of the current fever of homophobia being felt in Uganda. Currently there is growing momentum in the U.S. Congress calling for the repeal of the proposed legislation and President Obama has come out in criticism of the bill’s measures.

In a country that has survived a relatively recent experience with periods of tremendous violence and indiscriminant executions, the passage of the Anti-Homosexual Bill could ultimately take the country backwards to a time when individuals were singled out for political and social reasons for random arrest and execution. The proposal of the bill, therefore, offers an opportunity to LGBT and human rights activists to fight for not only the repeal of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but also the abolishing of existing anti-gay laws that have seen an escalation of violent attacks against and, harassment of, LGBT people in Uganda. The basic human rights to freedom, dignity, and freedom from discrimination must be protected for all Ugandans, at home and abroad.

Contribution by Msia Clark, Uganda Country Specialist for Amnesty International USA

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43 thoughts on “Anti-Homosexuality Bill could mean a death sentence for LGBT People in Uganda

  1. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  2. The proposed bill is not at all agaist the human rights but it is just in line with the human rights. If today someone claims to be God and people accept him as God, will he become God? No! not at all, because a wrong thing cannot be right if most people accept it as such. It is the duty of religious people to condemn such practices. Homosexuality is against the laws of nature and a whole nation has been destroyed by this act.The modern civilzation is also at the brink of destruction due to unnatural and evil practices. We should condemn the homosexuals rathetr than condemning anti-homosexual laws of Uganda. We should follow the example of Uganda and give exemplary punishment to the homosexuals

  3. I am a committed Christian and alongside many other Christians I read the Bible taking into account its context and the way its messages have changed over the centuries. The Bible is not a static book where you can select passages literally to support fears and prejudices. It is a living word with new things to reveal to every generation. The Bible was misused to support slavery in the same way you are now using it to attack those whom you fear.

    All I can say is I reject this law in the name of the God I love and the Jesus I know

  4. The proposed bill is not at all agaist the human rights but it is just in line with the human rights. If today someone claims to be God and people accept him as God, will he become God? No! not at all, because a wrong thing cannot be right if most people accept it as such. It is the duty of religious people to condemn such practices. Homosexuality is against the laws of nature and a whole nation has been destroyed by this act.The modern civilzation is also at the brink of destruction due to unnatural and evil practices. We should condemn the homosexuals rathetr than condemning anti-homosexual laws of Uganda. We should follow the example of Uganda and give exemplary punishment to the homosexuals

  5. It is their country and they can make laws the deem fit. Why should the west dictate what africa does. It seem to me that the western countries have made a mess of the world.

    I think it is a good law that supports families and I pray will stop this un-Godly way of life.

  6. I am a committed Christian and alongside many other Christians I read the Bible taking into account its context and the way its messages have changed over the centuries. The Bible is not a static book where you can select passages literally to support fears and prejudices. It is a living word with new things to reveal to every generation. The Bible was misused to support slavery in the same way you are now using it to attack those whom you fear.

    All I can say is I reject this law in the name of the God I love and the Jesus I know

  7. Vincent: "It is their country and they can make laws the deem fit." (a) Nazi Germany could have made the same argument; (b) fine, but I suggest western countries follow Sweden's lead and cut back sending Uganda foreign aid; (c) would you make the same argument about a country that passed a law banning Islam (or Christianity, or any custom you want to name that you approve of) and making its practice an offence punishable by imprisonment or death?

  8. It is their country and they can make laws the deem fit. Why should the west dictate what africa does. It seem to me that the western countries have made a mess of the world.

    I think it is a good law that supports families and I pray will stop this un-Godly way of life.

  9. Dr. Ghauri, though I oppose homosexuality like you, yet I do not condemn gays and lesbians but treat them as honest, normal citizens. Yet you always treat them as "evil monsters" and want to punish them with death, because you believe that "God hates gays and will send them to hell once they are executed!" You're just like the Westboro Baptist Church: no respect for human rights, bashing gays and lesbians (and even Catholics) with foul language and insults! You even claim that the "Anti-Homosexual Bill" justifies human rights, but the more you claim, you lie! That's just like saying that war, torture, and even execution justify human rights! You're just one of the lying Pharisees' supporters! Shame on you, Dr. Ghauri! You never care about human rights and gay and lesbian rigths at all! :x

  10. P.S. Don't forget about Vincent N. He's just another one of those Pharisees' supporters who lie about war, torture and execution justifying human rights! Shame on him too!

  11. In Mark, one of the "teachers of the law" asks Jesus which of the commandments is the most important:

    "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."(Mark 12:29-31 NIV)

    I don't think Jesus would condone murder for homosexuality. I don't think killing is loving your neighbor as yourself.

  12. Uganda anti-gay bill supported by US Congressmen and Evangelists
    November 29, 9:09 PMInternational LGBT Issues ExaminerKelvin Lynch

    Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has taken at least 20 "missionary" trips overseas since he's been in office, allegedly paid for by U.S. taxpayers, using military transport. He is especially fond of Uganda, boasting that he has "adopted" the East African nation. In fact, he is so fond of Uganda, he has invited its leaders to become members of the not-so secret, secret society known as the Family in D.C., according to Jeff Sharlet, whose new book, "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" exposes just that.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-4107-International-LGBT

  13. Vincent: “It is their country and they can make laws the deem fit.” (a) Nazi Germany could have made the same argument; (b) fine, but I suggest western countries follow Sweden’s lead and cut back sending Uganda foreign aid; (c) would you make the same argument about a country that passed a law banning Islam (or Christianity, or any custom you want to name that you approve of) and making its practice an offence punishable by imprisonment or death?

  14. Uganda anti-gay bill supported by US Congressmen and Evangelists
    November 29, 9:09 PMInternational LGBT Issues ExaminerKelvin Lynch

    Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has taken at least 20 "missionary" trips overseas since he's been in office, allegedly paid for by U.S. taxpayers, using military transport. He is especially fond of Uganda, boasting that he has "adopted" the East African nation. In fact, he is so fond of Uganda, he has invited its leaders to become members of the not-so secret, secret society known as the Family in D.C., according to Jeff Sharlet, whose new book, "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" exposes just that.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-4107-International-LGBT

  15. Uganda anti-gay bill supported by US Congressmen and Evangelists
    November 29, 9:09 PMInternational LGBT Issues ExaminerKelvin Lynch

    Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has taken at least 20 "missionary" trips overseas since he's been in office, allegedly paid for by U.S. taxpayers, using military transport. He is especially fond of Uganda, boasting that he has "adopted" the East African nation. In fact, he is so fond of Uganda, he has invited its leaders to become members of the not-so secret, secret society known as the Family in D.C., according to Jeff Sharlet, whose new book, "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" exposes just that.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-4107-International-LGBT

  16. Dr. Ghauri, though I oppose homosexuality like you, yet I do not condemn gays and lesbians but treat them as honest, normal citizens. Yet you always treat them as “evil monsters” and want to punish them with death, because you believe that “God hates gays and will send them to hell once they are executed!” You’re just like the Westboro Baptist Church: no respect for human rights, bashing gays and lesbians (and even Catholics) with foul language and insults! You even claim that the “Anti-Homosexual Bill” justifies human rights, but the more you claim, you lie! That’s just like saying that war, torture, and even execution justify human rights! You’re just one of the lying Pharisees’ supporters! Shame on you, Dr. Ghauri! You never care about human rights and gay and lesbian rigths at all! :x

  17. P.S. Don’t forget about Vincent N. He’s just another one of those Pharisees’ supporters who lie about war, torture and execution justifying human rights! Shame on him too!

  18. In Mark, one of the “teachers of the law” asks Jesus which of the commandments is the most important:

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”(Mark 12:29-31 NIV)

    I don’t think Jesus would condone murder for homosexuality. I don’t think killing is loving your neighbor as yourself.

  19. At last, something new & concrete — & straight to the heart of the matter.

    Abel Ashes opens Pandora's lid.

    My gratitude for his contribution.

  20. The Family in DC.

    Sounds like the Skull & Bones, the other not – so – secret secret society at the heart of US power, housing the Bush family — among others — & aiming to strengthen US world "domination".

  21. Uganda anti-gay bill supported by US Congressmen and Evangelists
    November 29, 9:09 PMInternational LGBT Issues ExaminerKelvin Lynch

    Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has taken at least 20 “missionary” trips overseas since he’s been in office, allegedly paid for by U.S. taxpayers, using military transport. He is especially fond of Uganda, boasting that he has “adopted” the East African nation. In fact, he is so fond of Uganda, he has invited its leaders to become members of the not-so secret, secret society known as the Family in D.C., according to Jeff Sharlet, whose new book, “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power” exposes just that.

    http://www.examiner.com/x-4107-International-LGBT-Issues-Examiner~y2009m11d29-US-Congressmen-support-Uganda-AntiHomosexuality-Death-Penalty-Law-in-the-name-of-Jesus

  22. Well, I agree with a.savage for one thing: the so-called Family thinks it's supporting Uganda's rights by passing its anti-gay bill, when in truth it will unknowingly abuse Uganda's human rights for the LGBT people. This Family is worse than the Westboro Baptist Church who claims that God is using divine "capital punishment" on America for supporting gays and lesbians. Abusing LGBT human rights in the name of God is so wrong! God and Jesus would never kill gays and lesbians, because he is all-knowing and all-merciful, even in both the Old and New Testaments.

  23. At last, something new & concrete — & straight to the heart of the matter.

    Abel Ashes opens Pandora’s lid.

    My gratitude for his contribution.

  24. The Family in DC.

    Sounds like the Skull & Bones, the other not – so – secret secret society at the heart of US power, housing the Bush family — among others — & aiming to strengthen US world “domination”.

  25. Well, I agree with a.savage for one thing: the so-called Family thinks it’s supporting Uganda’s rights by passing its anti-gay bill, when in truth it will unknowingly abuse Uganda’s human rights for the LGBT people. This Family is worse than the Westboro Baptist Church who claims that God is using divine “capital punishment” on America for supporting gays and lesbians. Abusing LGBT human rights in the name of God is so wrong! God and Jesus would never kill gays and lesbians, because he is all-knowing and all-merciful, even in both the Old and New Testaments.

  26. I am an atheist.
    It seems obvious to me that human civilization cannot attain its highest level on values and doctrines devoid of empathy.
    It also seems evident that the old criticism along the lines of "natural/unnatural" is a logical absurdity in the case of phenomena that occur throughout history.
    Anyone here ever read the Kinsey report?
    Homosexuality is not only "natural" for humans, it is far more a part of the make-up of most people than they ever can bear to admit; it also plays an important part in the individual and relational motivations that help form the society that sustains us as a species and gives the breeders among us the best chance to raise the next generation. Even exclusive homosexuals can be found playing important roles in society that benefit many others, sometimes all.
    No, Uganda; no, Dr Ghauri: both bigotry and the death-penalty hold us back from the highest level of civilization, which will always be measured by empathy and compassion in my view. (Actually, Jesus said a lot of things that pointed in this direction…)

  27. I am an atheist.
    It seems obvious to me that human civilization cannot attain its highest level on values and doctrines devoid of empathy.
    It also seems evident that the old criticism along the lines of “natural/unnatural” is a logical absurdity in the case of phenomena that occur throughout history.
    Anyone here ever read the Kinsey report?
    Homosexuality is not only “natural” for humans, it is far more a part of the make-up of most people than they ever can bear to admit; it also plays an important part in the individual and relational motivations that help form the society that sustains us as a species and gives the breeders among us the best chance to raise the next generation. Even exclusive homosexuals can be found playing important roles in society that benefit many others, sometimes all.
    No, Uganda; no, Dr Ghauri: both bigotry and the death-penalty hold us back from the highest level of civilization, which will always be measured by empathy and compassion in my view. (Actually, Jesus said a lot of things that pointed in this direction…)

  28. You may call me liar or against the human rights but i suppose you believe in Bible and accept it as the word of God. If so and if you have read the bible then i dare to invite you to read '' Genesis Chapter 19'' . if you think God will not punish on homosexuality then read carefully this chapter and you will be clear that Lut's nation was destroyed by God Almighty on this very act but if you insist on denying every thing even if it is mentioned in Bible then i cannot argue more and pray from God for your guidance towards right path and protect you from falling in the deep and blind hole of evil

  29. The death sentence is uncalled for, but like debbie kearns, it is a fact that homosexuality is a perversion and needs like all perversions some effective deterrant punishment; but definitely not the death sentence.- rathan paul

  30. @ Dr. Ghauri, Vincent and others who think alike

    I really don't understand which world you live in or which world you seek to live in. I don't expect you to read Kinsey report like the other friend has asked above to do so. In the name of religion, family, marriage and other institutions since ages certain people have been subjugated and marginalized for doing something which was not considered 'normative'. The obvious question is who decides how one has to use his/her genitals or who the person should fall in love with. The world we exists in is a constructed one, nothing being real or static. So, the demand remains of creating spaces for everyone to live by what seems to them as real and to end the process of oppression, privileges which have created inequality and injustice by defining as to what is real and unreal, natural and unnatural, biological and social. Moving away from these strict dichotomies will give way to a wide range of human experiences which have always been either forced to club with the binaries or denied their existence.

  31. You may call me liar or against the human rights but i suppose you believe in Bible and accept it as the word of God. If so and if you have read the bible then i dare to invite you to read ” Genesis Chapter 19” . if you think God will not punish on homosexuality then read carefully this chapter and you will be clear that Lut’s nation was destroyed by God Almighty on this very act but if you insist on denying every thing even if it is mentioned in Bible then i cannot argue more and pray from God for your guidance towards right path and protect you from falling in the deep and blind hole of evil

  32. The death sentence is uncalled for, but like debbie kearns, it is a fact that homosexuality is a perversion and needs like all perversions some effective deterrant punishment; but definitely not the death sentence.- rathan paul

  33. @ Dr. Ghauri, Vincent and others who think alike

    I really don’t understand which world you live in or which world you seek to live in. I don’t expect you to read Kinsey report like the other friend has asked above to do so. In the name of religion, family, marriage and other institutions since ages certain people have been subjugated and marginalized for doing something which was not considered ‘normative’. The obvious question is who decides how one has to use his/her genitals or who the person should fall in love with. The world we exists in is a constructed one, nothing being real or static. So, the demand remains of creating spaces for everyone to live by what seems to them as real and to end the process of oppression, privileges which have created inequality and injustice by defining as to what is real and unreal, natural and unnatural, biological and social. Moving away from these strict dichotomies will give way to a wide range of human experiences which have always been either forced to club with the binaries or denied their existence.

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