IMMEDIATE Alert: Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill Hits Parliament
May 10, 2011
As some of you may know, Uganda's infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been revived by Uganda's Parliament and hearings are currently underway. The bill, in its current form, calls for the execution of sexually active homosexuals who are HIV-positive or who are considered to be "serial offenders." The bill also imposes a sentence of life in prison upon conviction of a single homosexual act, and it bans the production or circulation of any information that "promotes" homosexuality -- almost certainly including information on sexual health and HIV Prevention for men who have sex with men (MSM).
The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) has been working closely with local advocates in Kampala to support their preparations to testify in yesterday's hearings. The Head of the Parliament Committee expects that a report on the bill will be completed as early as TODAY. Once the report is completed, legislators may vote on the bill any time until Parliament expires on May 18th.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has released a recent update on the bill's progress. You may also wish to visit the reputable local blog Gay Uganda, which features more nuanced information on the broader political context and sheds light on why this terrible bill has suddenly re-emerged in Paliamentary debate. Additional reports can be found on the MSMGF's Uganda Page and on the Box Turtle Bulletin's Uganda Page.
The global LGBT advocacy organization All Out has also released a petition requesting that Uganda's President Museveni veto the bill. We have been advised by our advocates in the field that international pressure would be useful at this time. All Out's petition can be found here.
The MSMGF will continue to work with our local partners to fight this despicable bill.
As always, we remind the community that any global advocacy efforts should take the lead of local activists, who best understand the political and social dynamics that dictate which advocacy approaches will be the most helpful, especially in complex and rapidly evolving situations.
Sometimes even the most well-intentioned international advocacy initiatives can do more harm than good, and local activists are the best source of information on which efforts will be most useful.
This article was provided by Global Forum on MSM & HIV.
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