(As posted on my Gazette blog)
A STATEMENT FROM FROM ALL OUT – December 20, 2013
UGANDA: ANTI-GAY LAW PASSES PARLIAMENT, AWAITS PRESIDENT SIGNATURE
- Uganda Prime Minister announced his opposition to the vote for lack of quorum
- Since 2011, 500,000 All Out members took online and offline actions to grow the global pressure that shelved the law before
NEW YORK, USA – The Ugandan Parliament has passed today a bill that appears to include life imprisonment for repeat offenders and prison sentence for people who do not to report gay people. If signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni, the bill would punish repeat offenders of ‘homosexual acts’ with life imprisonment and make it a crime not to report lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT). Millions around the world have joined Ugandans in calling for the end of anti-gay laws in the country.
“President Museveni must immediately come out forcefully and publicly to reject this law and call for calm. This vote must not be seen as a free pass for a nation-wide anti-gay witch hunt in Uganda,” says Andre Banks, Executive Director of All Out, the 1.9 million member movement fighting for love and equality. ” Museveni must keep his promise to uphold Uganda’s Constitution, and the human rights embodied within it, and not sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Life imprisonment is a sentence that should be reserved for only the worst crimes, not for living openly and loving who you choose.”
When the original version of the bill was introduced in 2011, more than 500,000 people signed an All Out petition in just three days. “All Out members from all over the world have stood with Ugandans before – and we will do everything we can to keep this bill from being signed into law,” says Andre Banks.
Together with All Out members and human rights defenders around the world, Ugandan human rights defenders have been fighting back against the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill since 2009 when David Bahati first introduced the bill, which then included the death penalty as a punishment for ‘homosexual acts’.
The bill was shelved after Ugandans and the international community decried the legislation until Rebecca Kadaga resurfaced the bill when she became speaker in 2011. Every public moment in the life of this bill has been followed by violence and arrests of suspected LGBT people in Uganda.
It is now up to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to refuse to sign the bill into law. If he does, his decision could still be overturned by the Parliament.
About All Out:
In 76 countries it is a crime to be gay; in 10 it can cost you your life. All Out is mobilizing millions of people and their social networks to build a powerful global movement for love and equality. Our mission is to build a world where no person will have to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love