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Tuesday 09 November 2010

Nations unite to fight Uganda's gay death bill

Posted in: International Daily News
By Daily News Staff - 2nd December 2009

Uganda has outraged the world with its parliamentary bill which recommends the death penalty for men who have gay sex with disabled people, under-18s or when the accused is HIV-positive.

Uganda's coat of arms
Ruling party MP David Bahati's 'Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009', which is likely to be passed this month as President Joshua Mmali is well known for his anti-gay views, will strengthen existing punishments Uganda's gay citizens are threatened with.

A spokesperson for Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has warned that Canada is against the bill, a view matched by several other Commonwealth nations including the UK.

British MP Michael Cashman told UK Gay News: "It is quite clear that this issue of state-sponsored homophobia has been building up for years, and now it is finally out of the bag.

"We should have faced this down years ago, but now we can ensure that such homophobia is never endorsed by our silence," he added.

"Things are changing; it will take some more time, but this clock is never going to be turned back. We are all equal in this world and it is high time LGBT people are granted their full human rights, wherever they live."

The European Union has also spoken out, denouncing the draft law as an attack on human rights, and calling for the separation of religion from politics and mutual respect.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton added America's muscular support to calls for the bill to be scrapped, saying the United States would not tolerate efforts to criminalise homosexuality among countries that receive US funding to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

It is estimated that the European Union countries and the United States provide Uganda with more than 75% of its aid.

The full text of Uganda's Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009 can be read here.

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