Uganda's Parliament is considering an anti-homosexuality bill that would result in a sentence of death or life in prison for Ugandan LGBT people, and seven years for anyone offering them protection or assistance. The proposed bill is one of the most severe pieces of anti-homosexuality legislation in Africa; if passed, its impact could reverberate not only throughout the continent but globally, placing LGBT people throughout the world at greater risk and dealing a severe blow to human rights.
Urge Congress to strongly condemn the proposed legislation and tell the Ugandan government that persecution of the Ugandan LGBT community is not acceptable.
In October 2009, Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati introduced legislation in Uganda that would make "any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex" punishable by prison or death. This egregious bill would create a legal pretext for further depriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Ugandans of their human rights, and even their lives.
The Anti-Homosexuality Act deems to protect Ugandan families from what the bill terms the "creeping evil" of homosexuality. It is by far the most extreme and dangerous attempt by an African country to criminalize the LGBT community. This discriminatory legislation would put to death those it found to be guilty of "aggravated homosexuality"; it even would criminalize the “aiding and abetting of homosexuality and promotion of homosexuality”—each charge of which would carry a possible prison sentence of seven years. This reprehensible bill is not only unjust on its face: its mere existence almost certainly will lead to violence against individuals who either are LGBT or are rumored to be LGBT, their families, and community leaders in their places of worship, residence, school, or place of business. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill even establishes extra-territorial jurisdiction which consequently endangers known LGBT citizens living abroad who may be extradited and prosecuted in Uganda pursuant to the bill.
The two circulating letters regarding Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act are addressed to President Obama and President Museveni. The letter to President Obama asks the President to speak out publicly against this proposed legislation to bring further attention to the issue. The letter to Ugandan President Museveni urges him to use every means possible to convey to leaders in Parliament that the appalling anti-gay bill is reckless in both intent and possible impact, and should be withdrawn immediately.
Your office may sign these letters by contacting: Amber Shipley of Representative Baldwin’s staff (5-2906), Diego Sanchez of Representative Frank’s staff (5-3609), or Brian Branton of Representative Polis’ staff (5-2616).
I strongly believe that human rights violations of any kind should not be tolerated. The threatened persecution of the LGBT community in Uganda is unacceptable. If we act now, the United States has the opportunity to stand up for a vulnerable population and prevent grave human rights abuses from being committed. I respectfully ask that you take swift action to condemn Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and prevent it from passing.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.