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February 10, 2014

Uganda Day of Action to Stop the Anti-homosexuality Bill #stopahb

Today, Monday, February 10th, Human Rights First is proud to participate in the Global Day of Action Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexual Bill. We join organizations and individuals across the world in supporting Ugandan LGBT activists urging President Yoweri Museveni to veto the odious legislation.

After passing the bill on December 20th, the Ugandan parliament sent the bill to President Museveni. While he hasn’t signed the bill, he hasn’t vetoed it either, and even without his signature, it could still become a law after 30 days with a ⅔ majority vote in parliament.

If the bill becomes law there will be severe consequences for Uganda’s LGBT community, including life sentences for so-called “aggravated homosexuality.” The bill defines “aggravated homosexuality” as a homosexual act where one of the partners is infected with HIV, sex with minors or the disabled, and repeated sexual offenses among consenting adults. That’s right: LGBT adults could face life in prison for consensual sex. The bill also includes a provision that makes conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony punishable by seven years in prison and targets those who promote LGBT activities.

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill was first introduced in 2009, prompting a global outcry. Homosexuality has long been criminalized in Uganda under a colonial-era law, but the bill—since “moderated”—would’ve made homosexuality punishable by death. Ugandan political and faith leaders, often with the aid of certain American evangelical leaders, have done a dangerous disservice to Ugandan society by pushing this bill under the pretext of protecting children.

We reiterate our categorical opposition to this bill, which threatens the rights of LGBT people and establishes a dangerous precedent for persecution and violence against minority groups in the country.

To make your voice heard, urge President Museveni and the Ugandan government to stop the systematic persecution of Uganda’s LGBT community and its allies. Use your social media clout and tweet at the Ugandan government, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Scott Delisi, and to Secretary of State John Kerry to protect LGBT Ugandans with the hashtag #stopahb. Share with your friends, family, and colleagues to make sure they join with you in speaking out against homophobia.

Twitter accounts for the Ugandan government:

  • Prime Minister- @amamambabazi
  • Ugandan Parliament- @parliament_UG
  • President Museveni’s Office- @statehouseUG

Twitter accounts for U.S. officials:

  • Secretary of State John Kerry- @JohnKerry
  • U.S. ambassador to Uganda- @scott_delisi