Uganda’ parliament is preparing to pass a brutal new law that would punish gay people with prison — even death.
Initial international criticism drove the President to call for a review. But after a well-funded and vicious lobbying effort by extremists, the bill looks set to be passed — threatening widespread persecution and bloodshed.
Opposition to the bill is rising, including from the Anglican church. Ugandan gay rights advocate Frank Mugisha writes, This law will put us in serious danger. Please, sign the petition and tell others to stand with us — if there’ a huge global response, our government will see that Uganda will be internationally isolated by the proposed law, and strike it down.
With the decision expected in days, only an irresistible wave of worldwide pressure will be enough to save Frank’s life and many others. Let’ build a huge petition to stop the gay death law — click here to take action, then forward this email:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_rights/?vl
The petition will be delivered to President Museveni, members of the review committee and Ugandan embassies worldwide this week before it’ too late, as well as to key donor governments.
The bill proposes life imprisonment for anyone convicted of having same-sex relations and imposes the death penalty for “serial offenders”. NGOs working to prevent the spread of HIV could be imprisoned for up to 7 years for “promoting homosexuality”. Even members of the public face up to three years in jail if they fail to report homosexual activity to the police within 24 hours!
The bill’ advocates claim that it defends national culture, but its strongest critics come from within Uganda. The Reverend Canon Gideon Byamugisha is one of many who’ written to us — he says,
It is violating our cultures, traditions and religious values that teach against intolerance, injustice, hatred and violence. We need laws to protect people — not ones that will humiliate, ridicule, persecute and kill them en masse.
By rejecting this dangerous bill and supporting the breadth of opposition to it, we can help set a crucial precedent. Let’ build massive support for Uganda’ human rights defenders, and save lives by stopping this bill — sign now here, then tell friends and family:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_rights/?vl
With hope and determination,
Alice, Ricken, Ben, Paul, Benjamin, Pascal, Raluca, Graziela and the whole Avaaz team
SOURCES
African letter to Ugandan President to throw out Anti-Homosexual Bill:
http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=22761
Ugandan church leader brands anti-gay bill ‘genocide':
http://www.guardian.co.uk/katine/2009/dec/04/gideon-byamugisha-homosexuality-bill
Human Rights Impact Assessment of Uganda’s Anti-homosexuality Bill By Sylvia Tamale, The Dean of Law at Uganda’s Makerere University:
http://www.zeleza.com/blogging/african-affairs/human-rights-impact-assessment-ugandas-anti-homosexuality-bill-sylvia-tamal

Uganda’s corrupt and undemocratic parliament is preparing to pass a bill that may execute LGBT Ugandans and imprison anyone who works to prevent HIV infection among LGBT Ugandans, who favors tolerance, or who fails to report gay or transgender loved ones to the authorities.

Ugandan and international human rights activists are responding with a last-ditch petition.

The petition will be delivered to President Museveni, members of the review committee and Ugandan embassies worldwide this week, as well as to key donor governments.

Ugandan gay rights advocate Frank Mugisha writes, “This law will put us in serious danger. Please, sign the petition and tell others to stand with us — if there’ a huge global response, our government will see that Uganda will be internationally isolated by the proposed law, and strike it down.”

The Reverend Canon Gideon Byamugisha says of the legislation, “It is violating our cultures, traditions and religious values that teach against intolerance, injustice, hatred and violence. We need laws to protect people — not ones that will humiliate, ridicule, persecute and kill them en masse.”

The host of the petition is Avaaz.org, which describes itself as “a 3.8-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making.”

The text of the petition reads:

To President Museveni of Uganda, Members of the Review Committee, and donor governments:
We stand with citizens across Uganda who are calling on their government to withdraw the Anti-Homosexual Bill, and to protect the universal human rights embodied in the Ugandan constitution. We urge Uganda’ leaders and donors to join us in rejecting persecution and upholding values of justice and tolerance.

Please sign today.