Special Committee in Uganda Opposes Anti-Homosexuality Bill

 

Special Committee in Uganda Opposes Anti-Homosexuality Bill

May 10, 2010

On May 8, a special committee organized by the president of Uganda recommended that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill be withdrawn from parliament. The bill, which was introduced in October 2009, promotes hate and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Ugandans by strengthening existing penalties against homosexuality, making same-sex relations punishable by prison or even death. Among its many dangerous provisions, a person who fails to report within 24 hours the identity of anyone perceived to be LGBTI or who supports the human rights of LGBTI individuals would be subject to up to three years imprisonment.

According to a New York Times article, Adolf Mwesige—a lawmaker and chairman of the special committee—said that virtually all clauses in the legislation were either unconstitutional or redundant, and that any other clauses should be placed in another bill dealing generally with sexual offenses.

The committee did, however, support one of the most worrying stipulations of the bill regarding the "promotion" of homosexuality, which criminalizes the provision of services and funding to Uganda's LGBTI community. The committee also recommended that the penal code be amended to include penalties for "aggravated homosexuality," even if those penalties are not introduced through the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

AJWS's Ugandan partners are viewing this as a victory but not yet as an indication that the bill will be quashed in this session of parliament. We applaud the tireless efforts of Julius Kaggwa, founder and program director of AJWS's grantee, Support Initiative for People with Atypical Sex Development (SIPD), who has led the grassroots organizing effort to condemn the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

AJWS Supports Julius Kaggwa and the LGBTI Community in Uganda youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j2z2-z19og http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j2z2-z19og 9j2z2-z19og 16_9 /embed-source/youtube