Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill: What you can do

UPDATE

US Evangelists are involved in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill – as per this report

Sadly, this witch-hunt has the blood stained fingerprints of leading American evangelicals. The Fellowship, (aka The Family) one of America’s most powerful and secretive fundamentalist organization’s, converted Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (pictured top) to its anti-gay brand of Christianity, which is the “intellectual” impetus behind the anti-gay crackdown. The clandestine organization’s leader, Doug Coe, calls Museveni The Fellowship’s “key man” in Africa. Jeff Sharlet, author of “The Family”, writes of the African strongman’s conversion:

“So,” Doug Coe told us, “my friend said to the president, ‘why don’t you come and pray with me in America? I have a good group of friends–senators, congressmen–who I like to pray with, and they’d like to pray with you.’ And that president came to the Cedars (a religious retreat), and he met Jesus. And his name is Yoweri Museveni…And he is a good friend of the Family.”

These people are using Uganda as a proxy site for their war against LGBTI people – Whether you are inside Uganda or outside, where ever you are there is something that you can do to stop this Bill going through but we need to act fast.   You can contact your own local parliamentary representative or senator and ask them to intervene – if you are in the US you can contact  the President  – maybe he can take time out from assembling thousands of his army to look at what is happening in his own yard – and ask him to directly intervene.  IGLHRC has posted the facts around the Bill and a list of names and addresses of Ugandan ministers plus a sample letter below.   Please take the time to speak out because once passed every LGBTI person in Uganda or anyone who provides a home, job or any kind of support will be criminalised and face between 7 years in prison and the death sentence.  That is how horrible this thing is.

The Issue:
The Ugandan Parliament is now considering a homophobic law that would reaffirm penalties for homosexuality and criminalize the “promotion of homosexuality.” The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 targets lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Ugandans, their defenders and anyone else who fails to report them to the authorities whether they are inside or outside of Uganda. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) are calling for the swift dismissal of the bill and human rights protections for all Ugandans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Join the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) in calling for the swift dismissal of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 and the protection of all Ugandans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Continue to Contacts and Sample Letter

Contact:

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
State House Nakasero
P.O. Box 24594
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: 256-41-343-311
Fax: 256-41-346-102
info@statehouse.go.ug
Prime Minister Apollo Nsibambi
Post Office Building, Yusuf Lule Road
P.O. Box 341
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: 256-41-423-6252
Fax: 256-41-434-1139
ps@opm.go.ug
Speaker of the Parliament Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuka
P.O. Box 7178, Parliamentary Avenue
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: 256-414-377-100
Fax: 256-414-231-296
speaker@parliament.go.ug
Minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Affairs
Honorable Opio Gabriel
P.O. Box 1494
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: 256-41-510-732
ps@mglsd.go.ug
Med Kaggwa, Chair of the Uganda Human Rights Commission
Plot 20/22/24 Buganda Road
P.O. Box 4929,
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: 256-414-348-007/8
Fax: 256-414-255-261
uhrc@uhrc.ug
Directorate for Ethics and Integrity
P.O. Box 7142
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: 256-(0)41-430-1600
Fax: 256-(0)41-434-3177
info@dei.go.ug
Mathisen Gørild
Chair of the Uganda Diplomatic Human Rights Working Groups
gorild.mathisen@mfa.no

Send a copy to:

Jerry P. Lanier, Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda
Embassy of the United States of America
P.O. Box 7007,
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: 256-414-259-791/2/3/5
Fax: 256-414-259-794
kampalawebcontact@state.gov
IGLHRC
communications+action.alert@iglhrc.org

Send an email and fax to:

Perezi K. Kamunanwire, Ambassador to the US
Tel: 1-202-726-4758
Fax: 1-202-726-1727
pkamunanwire@ugandaembassyus.org
Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Uganda to the United Nations
336 East 45 Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 1-212-949-0110
Fax: 1-212-687-4517
ugandaunny@un.int

Sample Letter:

Your Excellencies:

I am writing to express concern about legislation that would severely restrict the rights of Ugandan citizens, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their defenders, in direct contravention of domestic and international law. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 would not only reaffirm penalties for homosexuality, but would criminalize the “promotion of homosexuality,” including funding and sponsoring LGBT organizations and broadcasting, publishing, or marketing materials on homosexuality. Any person in authority who fails to report known violations of the law within 24 hours will also be subject to a significant fine and up to 3 years in prison — even when this means turning in their colleagues, family, or friends.

The negative repercussions of the bill in Uganda will be immediate and severe. It effectively bans the free association and expression that are necessary for a flourishing civil society, and creates a climate of fear and hostility that undermines the citizenship and solidarity of all Ugandans. It will lend itself to misapplication and abuse, and implicitly encourages persecution of LGBT people by private actors. Effective HIV prevention activities in Uganda, which rely on an ability to talk frankly about sexuality and provide condoms and other safer-sex materials, will be difficult, if not impossible.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill violates National Objective 5(2) of the Ugandan Constitution, which provides that “the State shall guarantee and respect the independence of non-governmental organizations which protect and promote human rights.” Moreover, it directly violates the right to equality and freedom from discrimination (Article 21), the right to privacy (Article 27), the right to freedoms of speech, expression, association, and assembly (Article 29), the protection of minorities (Article 36), and the protection of civic rights and activities (Article 38) to which all Ugandans are entitled. It also violates the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other international human rights treaties to which Uganda is a party. This bill undermines Uganda’s commitment to the international human rights regime and threatens the basic human rights of all its citizens.

The Bill’s revocation of fundamental rights would also seriously undermine the country’s reputation and credibility in the international arena. Because it claims jurisdiction over Ugandans who violate its provisions while outside of the country, the Bill will strain Uganda’s relations with regional and international partners.

While people may hold differing opinions about sexual orientation and gender identity, the legislation before Parliament is an ineffective and fundamentally illegal way to express opposition to a minority group. In recognition of the importance of a diverse, dynamic civil society and the domestic and international commitments that Uganda has made, I urge you to swiftly dismiss the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 and reaffirm the rights and responsibilities of all Ugandans.

Sincerely,

Name:
Organization:
Country: