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Human rights groups oppose Uganda’s proposed death penalty for homosexuality

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  1. Where are the UN sanctions Mr Brown?

  2. Dont we send aid there for warlords and corrupt officials? If so. stop that.

  3. Jesus Christ!!!! For a small, impoverished country with over 30 million people, Uganda should be ENCOURAGING less procreation and MORE gay sexual activity!!!

  4. Uganda is a member of the Commonwealth.

    If this passes then suspend its membership.

    But does anyone really believe Labour has the guts or will to do that?

  5. Immediate suspension of all foreign aid, trade and a travel ban on all Ugandan nationals, would be a good start. If they hate so-called ‘western’ imported habits, fine, see how they do without us.

  6. Jean-Paul Bentham 17 Oct 2009, 8:12am

    Uganda, Idi Amin…
    Barf…
    We zhould be memberz of Amnezty International if you azk me.

  7. I left a comment a couple of days saying that what the Ugandan MP is proposing is legalised murder of gay people, and now someone has deleted it. Is this kind of comment inadmissible now?

    Something strange has been going on.

    Not sure how best to respond as the elite tend to shrug off western “interference”.

    We could start by making all trade conditional on this though.

  8. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Oct 2009, 2:10am

    Don’t look at me. I remember your comment and I’m no big fan of yours, but I couldn’t delete a comment from a thread if my life depended on it. Maybe you’re just not looking in the right thread…?

    As I said, we should all join Amnesty International.

  9. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Oct 2009, 3:42am

    Found your comment, lamebrain, on the thread entitled:

    “Ugandan MP proposes that gays should be executed” dated Oct 15.

    “What is being proposed is nothing other than legalised murder.

    It’s a real dilemma how best to respond to this, as pressure from “the west” often backfires.

    At the very least, however, any aid should be tied to improvements in their appalling human rights record.

    (Report comment to the moderator)

    Comment by Psephos — October 15, 2009 @ 15:43″

    I remembered your comment because I couldn’t understand what dilemma you could possibly be talking about.

    And oh, you didn’t answer my question yet. Typical of you.

  10. Jean Paul – In fairness I can’t see that Psephos’ position is so different to your own, he’s merely concerned that western diplomatic pressure in Uganda has a history of backfiring. The question is, what kind of diplomacy would have the desired effect?
    Without knowing more about the politics of the region I can’t really comment on that beyond thinking something should be done. My knowledge of Ugandan politics begins and ends with Idi Amin and the movie “The Last King of Scotland”.
    Any political pundits out there care to shed some light on it?

  11. “these black savages.”

    Disgusting. Uganda’s treatment of gays is appalling. That’s no excuse for such foul racism. It’s black Ugandans who are on the receiving end of this discrimination. It’s hard to believe, if you generalise about ‘black savages’, that you actually care about it.

  12. I quite agree Flapjack – nice to meet some sane and civil commentary.

    The question is not whether people should disagree with the excellent work done by Amnesty (to my mind only a fool or a madman would), it’s how to put pressure on a government which has utter contempt for human rights, western opinion, or the rights of its own people – aided and abetted by religious bigots.

    All of the options are frustratingly feeble. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use all possible diplomatic and economic pressure but it’s unlikely to be a quick fix.

    South Africa, as just about (as far as I know) the only African country with a decent record on gay rights might be able to help, so we should definitely try to get them on board.

    We should also keep up the pressure on the UN to pass the anti discrimination amendment.

    Any other ideas welcome.

  13. Hang on a minute. As usual, PinkRag blows these things out of all proportion and all the rabid human rights lefties run with it.

    ONE MAN proposed this in the Ugandan parliament. Uganda is not so stupid as to even consider it. We have had outrageous proposals made by MP’s in UK, but they never get anywhere. I don’t deny it is an outrageous precedent, but Uganda know they will become international pariahs instantly should they accede to such outrageous ideas. They are a third world country that cannot afford to do without first world support, finance and approval.

    This is yet another tit-bit wind-up to get everyone going. Ignore it and treat it with the contempt it deserves.

  14. Outrageous! Yes I did overdo that word a bit. It’s about time this site got a decent bit of software that allows you to edit your posts.

  15. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Oct 2009, 9:19pm

    flapjack(10):

    Thanks for the feedback.

    The difference with your and Psephos’ post is that yours contains rhe wee bit of information that makes Psephos’ comment so ambigious.

    I don’t play mind-games which leave people to second guess what I mean, and I detest comments that do exactly that, intentionally.

  16. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Oct 2009, 9:21pm

    Psephos:

    I found and re-posted your comment, the one you said had been deleted.

    You’re welcome.

  17. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Oct 2009, 9:39pm

    Uganda: Bahati’s Bill – a Convenient Distraction for Country’s Government
    Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe and Frank Mugisha
    16 October 2009

    On 14 October 2009 the Hon. David Bahati (MP, Ndorwa County West, Kabale) tabled a private-members bill before the Ugandan parliament titled the ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’. When it was tabled, the Minister for Ethics and Integrity Dr James Nsaba Butoro made a strong statement in support of the bill and for the greater sanction of individuals and organisations supporting homosexuality.

    The bill is aimed at increasing and expanding penalties for ‘homosexual acts’ and for all institutions (including NGOs, donors and private companies) who defend the rights of people who engage in sexual relations with people of the same gender. The bill also calls for Uganda to withdraw from all international treaties and conventions which support the rights of lesbians, gays and bisexuals, introduces extradition arrangements for Ugandan citizens who perform ‘homosexual acts’ abroad, and includes legal penalties for people who fail to report alleged homosexual acts or individuals and institutions that promote homosexuality or same-sex marriage to the authorities. The death penalty is mandated for HIV-positive people who engage in sex with people of the same gender. The tabling of the bill has been accompanied by threats against any Ugandan media organisation that allows LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Ugandans to air their views or publish press statements.

    Bahati’s bill is an alarmingly retrogressive piece of legislation, aimed at legalising hatred against a section of the Ugandan citizenry, but also importantly at controlling and censoring dissent and open public debate. In legal terms, the bill would set a precedent for state authorities to control rights to freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of association for state and non-state actors. It would also set a precedent for government censorship of internal workplace and other policies of national and international institutions operating in Uganda.

    The bill is clearly a diversion from the serious issues facing Uganda’s policy-makers today in the lead-up to the 2011 elections especially around livelihoods; poverty and the lack of jobs; electoral reforms; lasting solutions to the northern Uganda peace process; political conflict; ethnic tensions and the unresolved land question; high rates of violence against children and against women (perpetrated largely by heterosexual men); and the ongoing impact of HIV/AIDS. It also poses a serious threat to press and academic freedom, human rights activism overall, and indeed to Uganda’s commitment to the values of human rights and democracy upheld by its own constitution and by the regional and international systems to which it belongs.

    Western-Backed Homophobia

    A common claim put forward by homophobes in Uganda is that Western donors and human rights organisations are encouraging the spread of homosexuality in Uganda. Interestingly, what they never admit to is that fact that their own campaigning and mobilisation against lesbians and gay people is itself funded and supported by actors in the West, more specifically the Christian rightwing in the USA.

    There is evidence to suggest that support for Bahati’s bill has come from extreme-right Christians in the United States of America who are working through allied churches and parliamentarians in Uganda. In March 2009 the Family Life Network, led by Ugandan Pastor Stephen Langa (affiliated to the Kampala Pentecostal Church), hosted a workshop entitled ‘Exposing the truth behind homosexuality and the homosexual agenda’. The workshop trainers included members of three American organisations well-known in US Christian rightwing circles:

    •Scott Lively, co-founder of the hate group Watchmen on the Walls and author of The Pink Swastika, a pseudo-history book claiming that militant male homosexuals helped mastermind the Nazi holocaust
    •Caleb Lee Brundidge, a ‘sexual reorientation’ coach for the International Healing Foundation, a Christian organisation that aims to ‘free’ people from ‘unwanted same-sex attraction’
    •Don Schmierer, a board member for Exodus International, an umbrella body for Christian groups that seek to ‘reform’ homosexuals using Christian teachings.
    Alongside the workshop, the Americans also met with MPs and influential religious actors. The Family Life Network has mobilised through churches across the country to deliver a petition to parliament calling for the introduction of stronger legislation against homosexuality. Bahati’s bill is the result.

    It’s worth noting that it costs a considerable amount of money, time and processes to table a private-member’s bill, which begs the question of how the MP from Kabale District is financing this process? It has also been common practice for the mushrooming pastors and churches to use homophobic attacks on opponents as a way to discredit each other and sway faithfuls.

    Content and Implications of Bahati’s Bill

    The tabled bill aims at increasing the scope of laws established in the British colonial era prohibiting ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature’ and acts of gross indecency. These articles of the penal code and are already being used to arrest, detain and prosecute Ugandans allegedly engaging in ‘homosexual acts’.

    Bahati’s bill would establish legal definitions for homosexuality and homosexual acts, include explicit prohibitions for sex between men and between women, reinforce legislation against same-sex marriage, and establish a wider range of penalties for both the performance of homosexual acts and for the support of sexual rights broadly and the rights of homosexuals in particular.

    Criminalising the practice of homosexuality

    The bill criminalises homosexual acts, with penalties ranging from up to 10 years imprisonment for single acts of homosexual sex to life imprisonment and the death penalty for a category of crime labelled ‘aggravated homosexuality’. The latter includes an HIV-positive person having sex with a person of the same gender, and same-gender sexual relations with people with disabilities and with legal minors. The offence of homosexuality includes any person who ‘touches another person with the intention of committing homosexuality’ (Article 2.c.), an alarmingly broad provision which is open for wide interpretation and malicious use given that the burden of proof is vague.

    In criminalising sexual acts between consenting adults, the bill’s provisions directly violate the right to privacy, to equality and concepts of bodily integrity and autonomy.

    Bahati’s proposed bill also supports stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people, and would undermine years of efforts to tackle the epidemic. Uganda has been considered as a ‘best practice’ leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS, and has received significant amounts of international support for its HIV and AIDS programming from donors such as the Global Fund for HIV and Malaria. If passed, this leadership status would be put in serious question and has potential to down-roll the stewardship and achievements achieved thus far.

    The social implications of the bill are equally problematic. The active persecution of LGBT people would lead to tremendous suffering and violence against people who are, after all, our own family members, colleagues, business partners, political and religious representatives, and friends.

    Criminalising the ‘promotion’ of LGBT rights

    Article 13 of the bill calls for up to seven years imprisonment or a monetary fine for any person or institution believed to be promoting homosexuality. Business and NGOs convicted of promoting homosexuality are liable to be de-registered. Article 14 also penalises anyone who fails to report an offence under the act, with up to three years imprisonment or a monetary fine.

    Relevant Links
    East Africa
    Uganda
    Human Rights
    The term ‘promotion’ includes providing office space, broadcasting and otherwise disseminating information and funding any activities deemed to support ‘homosexuality and related activities’. Such a broad definition could well be used to close down institutions that the government wants to silence, especially in the run-up to the 2011 elections. For many networks, alliances and coalitions, this bill poses a threat to organising and engaging in general given that it would allow the de-registration of an entire network even if only one member has been found at fault. This is of critical concern as it would enable the censorship of national lobby groups and networks such as the national NGO forums and women’s national forums, who as of now are still battling with the repressive NGO Amendment Act. This bill in essence tightens the areas of engagement that were left within the NGO act.
    ________________________________________________________-

    For more information, check out http://allafrica dot com/stories/200910161126 dot html

  18. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Oct 2009, 9:46pm

    Robert (11)

    Black savages have always existed, continue to exist and will likely be seen in the future.

    So will Chinese, Russian, Greek, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, yellow, pink, or green.

    Only a savage would oppose equal civil rights for every human being; in this case we happen to be focusing on a black savage.

    Racist? you gotta be kidding?

  19. Oh, and I couldn’t help noticing the nice irony that Bentham, having (in his usual charming and witty way) called me a “lame brain” (for losing a thread – well it was late and I was overtired), then accuses me of being “intentionally playing mind games” and all because HE couldn’t understand a pretty straightforward comment that others understood perfectly. A pretty contemptible slur. I don’t do “mind games” – I’m not sure I would know how to. If anything I say is unclear to you, just ask in a civil way and you may, amazingly, get a civil answer back.

    And I still get this even when we’re (I think) arguing on the same side on this occasion. Give me strength.

  20. Jean-Paul Bentham 19 Oct 2009, 12:27am

    Psephos:

    I found and re-posted your comment, the one you said had been deleted.

    You are most welcome, you great ambigious one.

    When it’s late and one is overtired, one goes to bed, not online, innit.

  21. Jean-Paul Bentham 19 Oct 2009, 12:44am

    Psephos:

    “…that others understood perfectly.”

    There you go pontificating again, trying to make us believe that you know what everybody else is thinking.

    How do you you know that others understood you perfectly?

    You don’t.

    That is a very immature habit you have: to tell us what the whole world thinks as a way of supporting your half-baked ideas.

    It’s like saying: They say it’s going to rain on Christmas day this year. Who’s “they”?

    Oh, never mind. I know I’m dropping my bucket down a dry well trying to communicate with you.

    We do seem to be talking the same language about Uganda, but you gotta admit, you comment, “It’s a real dilemma how best to respond to this.” was a wee bit ambigious now, c’mon.

    Also, you spoke of western influences, while experts speak of fundamemtalist christian influences. A wee difference there too, eh flapjack?

    But I ain’t bitter.

  22. John (Derbyshire) 19 Oct 2009, 11:45am

    My God,Jean Paul-how long did it take you to type that comment above? And-is it really worth it considering how many people ever read these comments?

  23. Jean-Paul Bentham 19 Oct 2009, 12:48pm

    Are you saying I tend to exaggerate, then?

  24. Mihangel apYrs 19 Oct 2009, 3:06pm

    “The bill criminalises homosexual acts, with penalties ranging from up to 10 years imprisonment for single acts of homosexual sex to life imprisonment and the death penalty for a category of crime labelled ‘aggravated homosexuality’. The latter includes an HIV-positive person having sex with a person of the same gender, ….”

    So why not a penalty for a HIV-positive person (usally male) having sex with a person of the opposite gender? The result is usually the same (possible pass on of infection. Oh, wait, that would curtail the right of men to have unprotected sex with as many women as they like!!

  25. Make that country into what it is trying to do to gays – make it a pariah in the world of nations. NO diplomatic or trade activity, no allowance for any of their citizens to travel to other countries, etc.

    They can get out of these punishments by delivering the severed heads of the people behind their crimes.

  26. Jean-Paul Bentham 20 Oct 2009, 7:27am

    At first I thought that the proposed death penalty for homosexual activity could only be inspired by Jihad in Uganda. We should all become more focused on Jihad.

    I was as surprised as anybody else to learn that Uganda is being influenced by Americam evangelism. But of course, the USA is where the money is, innit.

  27. Jean-Paul Bentham 20 Oct 2009, 9:22am

    Speaking of the death penalty for homomsexuals:

    http://www.youtube dot com/watch?v=_qxjocm5fCc

    Hello Psephos?????? Where are ya??? You troll.

    Come and give us some more of your double-talk; you are so amusing.

  28. The word savage is appropriate if it fits! Every race is capable of such vile in human behaviour no matter what their colour. Africa has a particularly bad record on Gay Rights but so do most Arab countries. I thank the human rights groups for their action; the UN should do something as well and Yes, the Commonwealth should act to supspend thm!

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