FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO — Truth Wins Out today condemned the Ugandan Parliament for quietly and without a quorum passing a version of the infamous legislation known as the “Kill The Gays” bill. Though the death penalty has been removed, under the bill, gays can now face life in prison for “aggravated homosexuality,” which amounts to being convicted of having gay sex more than once. Though Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni does not have the power to veto the bill, Truth Wins Out strongly urged him to refuse to assent to the bill, which will require the current parliament to pass the bill with a two thirds majority, allowing time for the international community to band together to prevent this human rights atrocity from becoming law.
“President Museveni should listen to the world community and do everything in his power to stop this grotesque bill in its tracks,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Those in support of this bill are using religion and anti-colonialist fear to convince Ugandans that they must eliminate gays and lesbians from their country. The truth of the matter is that the only ‘colonialists’ Ugandans should be worried about are American Religious Right activists.”
Additionally, Truth Wins Out exhorted Pope Francis to speak out against this human rights atrocity in his capacity as the spiritual leader of the largest religious contingent in Uganda. Though Roman Catholic teaching still preaches against homosexuality, Pope Francis has repeatedly made statements that emphasize the dignity and humanity of LGBT people. Uganda’s efforts to eliminate gay people from their society by putting them in prison stand in harsh contrast to both the teachings of Pope Francis and the official position of the Roman Catholic Church.
“As the spiritual leader of over 1.2 billion people around the world, many in developing countries like Uganda, Pope Francis stands to make a great impact on the lives of LGBT people abroad,” said Truth Wins Out Associate Director Evan Hurst. “This is a chance for the Pope to reaffirm the changing tone of the Catholic Church by coming out strongly against this inhumane, evil law. The lives of LGBT people in Uganda quite literally depend on it.”
While things get progressively better for LGBT people in the West, the American Religious Right has begun to focus their efforts on proselytizing people and eliminating the LGBT community abroad. Nigeria is currently in the process of passing a similarly draconian bill criminalizing LGBT advocacy and rights. Situations are grim in Russia, Ethiopia and several other nations, and the fingerprints of the American eliminationist Right are to be found all over the place. American anti-gay activist Scott Lively is currently on trial for crimes against humanity for the work he did in Uganda which led to this very bill. Truth Wins Out condemns those American fundamentalists who are determined, having lost the culture war at home, to impose their will on the developing world by inciting hatred against the LGBT community.
The Obama administration has condemned the passage of this bill and this morning, Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire, explained that, because of this law, he is no longer willing to do business with Uganda. Branson suggests that other corporations are likely to follow suit, and Truth Wins Out commends any and all who speak out with their pocketbooks by removing their business interests from Uganda.
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.