Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TheCall Uganda Press Release:..

When TheCall was invited to come to Uganda our intent was to join with the leaders and the people of the great Ugandan Church in a gathering of fasting and prayer to confess our personal and national sins, to pray for God’s blessing on the nation, and for a great spiritual awakening among her youth. Personal and national repentance among Christians and prayer for spiritual awakening has been the core focus of TheCall since her inception.

TheCall had no knowledge at the time, of the Uganda homosexual bill and the controversy surrounding it. TheCall was unaware that our genuine intent to encourage the Ugandan church in prayer would thrust us into an international controversy.

TheCall, in 2008, mobilized thousands to pray and fast in California that marriage would be upheld between a man and a woman, believing this to be God’s design for the good of society, family, and children. TheCall belief and intent has never been about promoting hatred toward the homosexual community as a whole or towards individuals who identify as LGBT. We have always sought to offer a message of love and redemption to those with same-sex attractions, though at times our communication could have been expressed more effectively and graciously. In this aspect, we humbly seek your forgiveness if we had not communicated God’s righteousness and mercy adequately.

Now recently, TheCall has been wrongfully marked and vilified as an organization promoting hatred and violence against homosexuals and as one that supports the Uganda bill as currently written. To the contrary, we have never made a private or a public statement of support for that bill. Though we honor the courage and stand with the stated purpose of the many Church leaders in Uganda who are seeking to protect the traditional and biblical family foundations of the nation, we have serious concerns with the bill as presently written, especially in terms of some of the harsh penalties for certain homosexual behaviors or offenses. Sadly, many around the world are identifying TheCall with these aspects of the bill. Our concern is not to avoid the controversy the bill is stirring up, but to give an accurate representation of biblical values and the heart of Christ for all humanity. Though TheCall is not afraid to take a clear stand on biblical truth on matters of sexuality, we are deeply concerned that TheCall ministry would not wrongfully reflect the character of Christ, and we do not see the character of Christ reflected in some key aspects of the language of the current bill.

Therefore TheCall, though continuing to be held in Uganda, will not promote this bill. In fact, we challenge the Church of Uganda to join with Christians around the world, to first examine our own moral failures, confess our own lack of love, and from that heart seek to establish true biblical standards, reflecting compassion for those struggling with same-sex attraction and equal justice for criminal offenses committed by heterosexuals or homosexuals. We believe this also reflects the heart and intent of the Christian leaders of Uganda.

In releasing this statement, we want to take this opportunity to reiterate our deep love for the homosexual community and, as followers of Jesus, our commitment to oppose all hatred and violence directed towards that community.

For TheCall,
Lou Engle

Sekaggya slams gay, media bills

Written by Hussein Bogere
Sunday, 25 April 2010 19:42
Margaret Sekaggya is the former chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission who today doubles as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, as well as the director of Human Rights Centre of Uganda.

She spoke about the current human rights situation in Uganda, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the proposed amendments to the Press and Journalism Act, among others, in an interview with HUSSEIN BOGERE. Below are excerpts.

What have you been up to since you left UHRC?

I left the commission in November 2008 and since then I was appointed by the Human Rights Council in Geneva as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

So, I have been doing that work and at the same time my colleagues and I set up an NGO, the Human Rights Centre Uganda, which does human rights research and advocating for the work of human rights defenders in Uganda.

The UN Special Rapporteur entails looking at the situation of human rights defenders in the whole world. This is done by issuing communications against states that violate human rights, issuing press releases on the situation of human rights in a particular country, going for country visits to assess the situation of human rights defenders on the ground and making concrete recommendations for the improvement of the environment in which defenders operate. Recommendations are made to the offending states but they could also be addressed to other stakeholders like the international community, civil society and other players.

All the reports are presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva and also to the General Assembly in New York. On the local scene, with the NGO to which I am a director, we have been holding networking sessions with stakeholders with a view of improving on the environment in which human rights defenders operate.

We have met journalists, media owners, MPs, directors of civil society organisations and alumni and paralegals who have done human rights-related work. This has helped us to strategise on the programmes we can do for HRDs. We also look at bills which are eminently coming up in Parliament so that MPs are able to think about legislative drafting and how to use a rights-based approach.

We have also done translations of the UN declaration on human rights defenders into local languages, Luo, Ateso, Langi, Acholi, Luganda, Runyakitara and Swahili. Research is ongoing in other areas, but basically these are some of the things we have done.

What do you mean by human rights defenders?

Human rights defenders are people who promote or protect human rights. It could be an individual, organisation, people working in government departments, lawyers, judges, trade unionists; it could be people working in rural areas or in the capital. If they promote and protect human rights, then they are termed as defenders.

A lot of dust has been raised by human rights activists in the wake of proposals by the executive to amend some sections in the Press and Journalism Act. Do you agree with them and if so, did you make it known to Parliament?

Yes, I discussed with the media owners that some of the proposed laws are detrimental to the work of journalists. They will not allow press freedom in the country to flourish. Other laws which affect the media are the Anti Terrorism Act, law of sedition, and the proposed phone tapping bill.

All those affect the way the media reports. It’s also proposed that journalists will have to renew their licences every year and I think that is going to affect their work because it will depend on how you report; if you don’t report well, your licence might not be renewed.

Media houses are also expected to renew their licences annually, which in my view will affect freedom of expression and lead to self-censorship in a sense that the journalists will be so careful so that their licences are not revoked.

What would be ideal is to let these media houses hold licences which can only be revoked in circumstances which warrant revocation and that should be done after going through the review process. Then that particular media house should have recourse to appeal such a decision.

Are those the views you expressed to the parliamentary committee?

We actually did present most of these issues to the Legal and Parliamentary Committee when we met them and actually had one of the journalists presenting a paper on most of those issues which are proposed for amendment.

Was the response positive?

The Legal and Parliamentary Committee is mostly composed of lawyers and they were very positive in the sense that they were very ready to engage with the media. In fact, they urged journalists to arrange meetings so that they can talk about these proposals.

What more can the journalists do to ensure that these proposals are not passed?

The important thing is for the journalists to be united on this. I realise they have formed a strategic coalition which they have called Article 29. The best method is to develop a common voice on these issues.

They need to partner with other civil society organisations which would campaign and advocate on their behalf. They need to lobby Parliament more but most importantly journalists need to be consulted before the bills are passed.

The other bill that has caused a lot of controversy is the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. What is your comment?

Again this is one legislation which needs to be reviewed and which needs to be scrapped because it has a lot of flaws. The bill talks of imposing the death penalty. The principle is taking into account a rights based approach, ensuring that the draft legislation that is passed is non-discriminatory, takes into account vulnerable groups and gets participation from the various stakeholders.

On my part, there is a lot of lobbying and advocacy which needs to be done to get the legislators to really understand some of these issues and to take into consideration international standards when they are passing legislation.

The proponents of the bill have argued that the vice is just an imposition of the West and you the people opposed to it are pawns in the game.

I don’t think that argument is wholly valid because I think the issue of homosexuality is not basically a Western value. It exists in society. And for all the countries I have been to, all over the world, I have found that there are homosexuals; so, I don’t think in each of those countries it has been imposed by the West. I think what they mean is that the advocacy and the fighting for the rights of homosexuals actually started from the West.

What exactly do human rights entail? What are those human rights?

Human rights accrue to the individual. The people generally are not aware that they have rights. Sometimes many people think that the only rights we should fight for are freedoms of association, assembly and expression.

These are the core rights. However, all human rights are also important, for example the right to healthcare, education, right to employment, rights of women and children. There are many areas where people don’t think that they should hold the government accountable for those particular rights.

I would call these in legal terms, the economic, social and cultural rights which are issues of poverty, education, health, employment. People don’t realise that the government as a duty bearer should ensure that these rights are enjoyed by all people.

Then who shares the blame for not having a civically vibrant society?

I think the duty lies with the state to ensure that there is enough civic education in the country, that the population is educated, is sensitised and that resources are put in place for civic education. Of course civil society organisations have done a lot and they are doing their part to ensure that there is sensitisation in the society, but sometimes they have challenges; they don’t have enough resources, capacity and sometimes the skills.

So, government should have a strategy of ensuring that they put in place programmes which will ensure that the population is sensitized, like introducing human rights in the school curricula, massive civic education, etc.

Give us an overview of the current human rights situation in Uganda.

The current human rights situation demonstrates that Uganda still has a lot to do. I have raised lack of knowledge of human rights. But also there are violations which still go on.

There are violations in respect to freedom of expression, assembly, crackdown on the media, restrictions on freedom to access information. We still have issues of torture, corruption. So, we still have a long way, as civil society, to ensure that we fight more to make Uganda a very vibrant and democratic society.

During your tenure as chairperson of the UHRC, you time and again issued reports highlighting torture and the Army getting involved in partisan politics, do you think these still exist and if so, why?

We still have challenges, despite the reports made by UHRC year after year. Lack of implementation on the part of government is part of the problem and I think it is necessary to call on government to ensure that these reports are taken seriously.

These reports have very good recommendations and if implemented would go a long way in improving the situation of human rights in the country. But we need a systematic way of implementation. For example, the award of compensation to victims of torture; I would expect that this matter would be taken seriously. Here is a person whose rights have been violated, this person is awarded compensation and it is not given at all or not given in time. I think government should look into that issue seriously.

You mentioned freedom of association as one of the rights. In Uganda there have been numerous demonstrations which have ended up bloody. Where does the problem lie?

The problem is lack of appreciation that freedom of association is one of the ways the citizenry raise their concerns. It is not just being disruptive, it is a way of voicing concerns and the sooner we understand that peaceful demonstrations should be allowed as a way of raising concerns, the better it will be for this country.

We also have the issue of mistrust between the people who are going on the streets to demonstrate and the Police. The people don’t trust the Police and therefore most of the demonstrations are not staged in a peaceful manner, and then the Police themselves don’t know how to handle demonstrations.

Must one seek the permission to hold a demonstration?

The international standards require that you should notify the Police so that they give you guidelines, protection for your demonstration. So the ideal situation is notification, not authorisation. When you bring in the idea of authorization, then you are giving the authority the chance to determine who should demonstrate.

But who then determines whether the decision was made judiciously? The other ideal is that demonstration should be peaceful. It must not be violent. Therefore, the two parties have responsibilities. Even the UN declaration on human rights defenders says that for the activity to be lawful, it must be peaceful. Violence is not allowed under international standards.

At the same time the freedom of association should not be unduly restricted by the authorities because it is a way of voicing peoples’ concerns. So it is both ways; peaceful and for the Police to facilitate the demonstrators, not teargas or live bullets.

We have had some extra-judicial killings, like during the September riots, and at Kasubi, but we haven’t heard from the human rights defenders. Why?

I think it has been a very tricky situation in the sense that the things that are going on, the killings, riots and rounding up of people have made human rights defenders more cautious. I think it’s important that when these issues come up the defenders should strategise on how they take these issues up with government or with the Police. Civil society needs to form strong networks and speak out on issues affecting the country.

A vibrant civil society contributes greatly to the democratic process in the country and its role should be recognised. What I have observed is that there is fear that has been instilled in the population. That fear has made people censor what they say and I think that’s why many civic organisations have not come out.

And maybe when government says they are carrying out investigations, the Police is investigating, what is expected is that the report will come out for people to know exactly what happened. Sometimes it’s very difficult to comment without carrying out investigations, to know exactly what happened on the ground. If these investigations are carried out and there is no report, it becomes very difficult for civil society to comment.

Must they wait for the reports from government?

They can come out, but they also need a mechanism to carry out some investigations on which to base their reports. It is usually not easy to just condemn as soon as anything happens. Normally it’s necessary to do a bit of investigations, be able to know the surrounding circumstances so that you can make an objective comment.

I know that as far as the Buganda riots were concerned, there has been a research which was done by HURINET and after that report it was possible for civil society to come up with concrete recommendations on what should be done.

What needs to be done now is to look at such recommendations and prevent a repeat of the same. The issue is whether there will be an effect or outcome from the condemnation; will government listen, take the recommendations and improve on the situation?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mbale pastors in anti-gay demo

Sunday, 25 April 2010 19:15
Religious leaders from Bugisu and parts of Teso on Saturday denounced homosexuality during a demonstration in Mbale town. After the march, the demonstrators congregated at Malukhu Grounds from where speaker after speaker bashed homosexuality.

Pastor Samuel Macho of Living Word Worship Church Mbale claimed that over one million people had signed a petition against homosexuality. Collection of signatures started on April 1.

“We have those from Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Bududa, Kumi, Ngora, Soroti and Tororo, all saying no to homosexuality and we are still collecting more signatures. Our campaign is still going on, and forever,” he said.

“Some immoral Europeans are supporting homosexuality in the name of human rights, but there is no human right in it at all. It’s a humiliation of the highest order. Why did God create a man and woman, or hen and cock?” he asked.

He said participants from all religious denominations had been involved in the campaign to boost the struggle against homosexuality that was invading African culture like a cancer.

Elizabeth Mwaka, a German national, said: “I am married to Mr. Mwaka in Manafwa. Uganda is my new home and as a member of the Butilu Manafwa United Christian Ministries, we shall continue to say no to the evil spirit of homosexuality.”

She added: “My message to Bazungu [Whites] is that they should let the African culture alone; they should stop the evil practice of homosexuality and copy the African culture which has continued to respect the natural concept of a man marrying a woman and not a man marrying a man.”

Janet Mbabazi, a second-year student at Uganda Christian University Mukono, said that the “misguided” supporters of homosexuality should remember why God asked Prophet Noah to build the Ark and put a female and male of every plant and animal.

“I hate homosexuals. If our parents were not married as man to woman; who would be the child of today? We should join hands and say no to homosexuals,” she charged.

Martin Nangoli, a pastor, warned leaders against keeping silent on evils which distort Africa’s cultural beliefs and setup.

He added that when righteous people keep quiet, evil triumphs.
“As a pastor at Redeemed Christian Church, I cannot let the evil continue but join hands with others in the struggle to end the evil that is coming to Africa,” Nangoli said.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cabinet committee split over homosexuals Bill

By John Tugume

Posted Sunday, April 25 2010 at 00:00

Two Cabinet ministers have disagreed over the proposed softening of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that seeks to punish those involved the act.

Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige who chaired the Cabinet Committee tasked with finding possible ways of amending MP David Bahati's Bill and counterpart James Nsaba Buturo of the Ethics docket failed to agree on the recommendations of the committee.

According to correspondences seen by Sunday Monitor, although the Cabinet Committee was supposed to be attended by seven ministers, only three attended the meeting that took place February 22 in Kampala.

Those who attended are Mr Mwesige and State Minister for Foreign Affair Isaac Musumba together with Education Minister Namirembe Bitamazire.

Missed meeting
Those who are on the committee but did not attend the meeting are Gabriel Opiyo (Gender Minister), Kabakumba Masiko (Information Minister), Fred Ruhindi (Justice State Minister) and Dr Buturo.

In a letter dated March 11, Dr Buturo wrote to Mr Mwesige complaining: "The report of the Cabinet Committee ... is not in the spirit of the said assignment. There are other concerns that I personally have which that report has not captured." Dr Buturo argued that Mr Bahati, "an important player in the Bill" should also be invited for consultations in another meeting.

But Mr Mwesige, who chaired the meeting, wrote back on March 15: "The report is already scheduled on Agenda of Cabinet. I am therefore not in position to hold another meeting of the committee as your letter suggests."

In their recommendations, the committee argued that the title of the Bill; Anti-Homosexuality, is stigmatising and appears to be targeting a particular group of people. They therefore want the "useful provisions of the proposed law" incorporated into the Sexual Offences Act.

The Committee, however, agreed that promotion of homosexuality should be criminalised. "The law should provide that all the parties: publishers, printers, distributors of any materials that promote homosexuality should all be liable to have committed an offence," the minutes read in part.

Although Mr Ruhindi refused to comment on the disagreement between his two colleagues, he said he did not have any sympathy for homosexuals adding: "The Bill can be strengthened as long as it is in harmony with the other existing laws."

Later Mr Mwesige told Mr Buturo that they could not present amendments to the relevant committee of Parliament "because we have no amendments to make on the Bill. But if Cabinet feels that amendments should be made, the line minister will carry those amendments to the relevant committee."

When contacted, Mr Bahati said: "Its important that cabinet realises that the matter before them is not a matter to determine the prices of tomatoes but rather the destiny of our children."

"We have a one life time opportunity to close the door to homosexuality in Uganda and if we don't use it now it will be impossible in future. We pray that they (ministers) will remain firm and put Ugandans' interests first not foreign pressure."

Although the committee says the Bill was not tabled in line with the Parliamentary rules, The Speaker, Mr Edward Ssekandi, had earlier said Mr Bahati followed the right procedure in tabling his Private Member's Bill.

No minister was willing to disclose when Cabinet would sit to consider the committee's recommendations.

Friday, April 23, 2010





Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) condemns Lou Engle's upcoming crusade scheduled for May 2, 2010. The crusade could cause incalculable damage, as it is designed to label homosexuality as a "vice" in Uganda and to incite people to "fight" against this "vice" in society. In the context of an already inflamed extremist religious movement against homosexuality in Uganda sparked off by American evangelicals, the inflammatory preaching of Lou Engle and his associates is likely to incite further violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in Uganda.

Sexual Minorities Uganda calls on all human rights defenders, organizations, religious communities and leaders, governments, and civil society, globally to take action to ensure that Lou Engle and his associates do not set foot in Uganda and that the Call Uganda does not proceed with this inflammatory and hate-inducing plan. While Sexual Minorities Uganda supports freedom of worship, we recognize the need for restriction on any speech that incites hatred and violence against a minority group. If a prayer event is to be held in Uganda, it should be done in a manner which encourages Christ-like love and acceptance and does not incite hatred and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people.


Lou Engle's extremist and violence-laden preaching is often laced with references to gay people as being possessed by demons. During a rally for Proposition 8 in California, he called for Christian martyrs. His inflammatory speech and focus on martyrdom can easily incite people in Uganda to disregard people's human rights and go to extreme measures to eliminate whatever they characterize as "evil" or a "vice". For example, Lou Engle preaches, "The most 'dangerous terrorist' is not Islam but God. One of God's names is the avenger of blood. Have you worshiped that God yet?"

The crusade is organized by TheCall Uganda and ten Ugandan Pentecostal pastors. According to, the crusade is 'intended to awaken and revive the young and the old, men and women, church and family, government and the public to fight vices eating away our society'. TheCall intends to address homosexuality in Uganda as a what they label a "vice". The crusade is preceded by a 21 day fast.

Lou Engle is a core founder of TheCALL in the U.S. but has expanded chapters to different countries. Last year, TheCALL sent an American Evangelical, JoAnna Watson of Touching Hearts International, to be based in Uganda full-time to orchestrate this crusade to fight vices like homosexuality.

This crusade could have the same kind of impact that the March 2009 anti-gay conference had in Uganda. Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Don Schmierer reinforced the desire of some religious leaders to persuade the government to create laws which would eliminate homosexuality from the nation. Eventually, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in the Parliament of Uganda by MP's David Bahati and Benson Obua.

Lou Engle's crusade will be the second major American evangelist event with an anti-homosexuality agenda after the trio to set foot in Uganda and will definitely incite our people into more hatred of homosexuals that may lead to further violence. This is very evident with the nature of preaching that he does in the US. He claims that homosexuals have demons and has mobilized Americans on several occasions for anti -gay rallies. Since the Bill was tabled, the rate of violence and homophobia has increased drastically in Uganda. Lou Engle's inflammatory preaching is likely to exacerbate an already worrying situation.


•Call and/or write Letters of Protest to TheCall Ministries and ask them stop exporting homophobia to Uganda. The event they are organizing is dangerous to LGBTI people in Uganda.

JoAnna Watson, Coordinator of The Call Uganda


Phone: +256 779 864 985

Lou Engle


Phone: +1 816 285 9351

•Hold demonstrations and/or marches in Kansas City where Lou Engle's church is located and protest against TheCALL Uganda


Government Softens Anti-homosexuality Bill

A Cabinet committee has recommended changes to Ndorwa West MP David Bahati’s anti-gay legislation that preclude the possibility of discarding it, Daily Monitor has learnt.

But the report, which is yet to be discussed by Cabinet, indicts Mr Bahati for not applying the kind of sophistication that would have anticipated the international condemnation that came after the draft legislation was tabled in Parliament last year.

The recommendations mean that the legislation may never be passed in its current shape, if at all, and that it may be long before it is discussed with seriousness.

Disagreeable proposal
“It is far from being a law,” a source on the committee said, requesting anonymity so as to preserve his credibility. “It is a [good] principle, but the approach of the mover has stigmatised his mission.”

It was, however, suggested that some of the proposals in the draft law, such as the death penalty for some homosexual acts, may be disagreeable.

The 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill is currently before the Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Committee, which has not indicated when it would begin scrutinising it.

In early 2010, as some foreign governments criticised Uganda over the proposed law, Cabinet established a committee whose report would guide it on the way forward.

Around that time, President Museveni told a meeting of National Resistance Movement officials to be cautious with legislation that had the potential to disrupt Uganda’s foreign policy. Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige, who chaired the committee, yesterday said they completed their work about a month ago, but he could not say exactly when the report would be up for discussion.
“It will be [discussed] in a few weeks,” Mr Mwesige said, declining to offer details.

Daily Monitor, citing a report in the UK’s Guardian, yesterday reported that British authorities had started a process that could leave Mr Bahati banned from visiting the UK if his anti-gay legislation becomes law.

Mr Bahati denies he is in a hate campaign, saying there is evidence of young boys being clandestinely recruited into gay life.

His legislation proposes the death penalty for those found having sex with a minor or with a disabled person, as well as for gay people who infect their partners with HIV.

It also proposes life imprisonment for consenting homosexuals.
Uganda’s penal law criminalises homosexuality

Monday, April 19, 2010

100 British MPs sign Petition against Uganda’s Anti-homosexuality Bill

Opposition against Uganda?s anti-gay Bill is gaining further ground abroad. A total of 118 British Members of Parliament have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM 575) condemning Uganda?s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
The Anti-gay Bill sponsored by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, took an interesting twist when an EDM gained 118 signatures in the UK Parliament, urging the Uganda government to completely scrap it.
The EDM, drafted by East London Labour MP Harry Cohen and Human Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, urges the Ugandan government to ?uphold international humanitarian law by abandoning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, decriminalising same-sex acts between consenting adults in private, and outlawing discrimination against gay people.? According to the EDM, it pushes for the total scrap of the Bill that decriminalise the same-sex relationship. The campaigner also contend the bill is a government?s ploy and well crafted plans to divert the public?s attention from tackling of important issues such poverty and ill-health.
The Anti-gay Bill which is pending presentation to the Ugandan Parliament was sponsored by Bahati from the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the country?s ruling party. The bill not only possesses clauses that call for a death penalty for anybody guilty of homosexual acts, but also clutches the fancy of worldwide condemnation. In February this year, the US President Barack Obama criticised the Anti-gay Bill and described it as an ?odious?.
The British Minister of State for Africa, Baroness Kinnock expressed concern about the bill and revealed that she had previously made it clear to the Uganda government in numerous representations.
In a January communiqué to this reporter, Kinnock said: ?We have also lobbied through the EU, Sweden, who held the EU Presidency in Uganda and led EU demarche to Ugandan Foreign Ministry in December. The European Parliament has also called on the Ugandan authorities not to approve the bill in resolution passed on 17 December.?
Kinnock also expressed fears about the Bill saying it?s detrimental to those who offer services for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda. ?Our concerns include the negative impact the bill would have on the rights of homosexual and heterosexual Ugandans through the criminalisation of any action that could be construed as support for homosexuality,
British MPs are especially appalled that the Bill proposes the death penalty for ?serial offenders? (people who commit repeat homosexual acts) and life imprisonment for merely touching or kissing another person of the same-sex with homosexual intent.
?We hope this motion will send a signal from the British parliament to the Ugandan government that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill constitutes an outrageous attack on the human rights of Uganda?s lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens,? said Peter Tatchell of the London-based gay human rights group OutRage!
OutRage is helping coordinate the UK campaign against the Bill, with the support of Ugandans living in Britain.
?Even if the death penalty is dropped, the Bill will remain unacceptable. It will still violate the equality guarantees of international human rights agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,? added Tatchell.
?We support the many Ugandan people who oppose this homophobic witch-hunt. Not all Ugandans are homophobic. Many have spoken out against this legislation. We salute their compassion and courage.
?The scape-goating of gay Ugandans is reminiscent of the way Adolf Hitler scape-goated Jewish people in Germany in the 1930s.
?Demonising lesbians and gay men is a diversion from the real issues that blight the lives of most Ugandans: poverty, unemployment, low wages, disease, poor sanitation, dirty drinking water and inadequate health and education services.
?Uganda?s anti-gay laws were not devised by Ugandans. They were devised in London in the nineteenth century and imposed on the people of Uganda by the British colonisers and their army of occupation. Before the British came and conquered Uganda, there were no laws against homosexuality. These laws are a foreign imposition. They are not African laws.?
The campaigners maintain that the Bahati?s Anti-gay Bill violates Article 21 of the constitution of Uganda, which guarantees equality and non-discrimination. The article talks of equality and freedom from discrimination; Clause (1) states: ?All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.?
?It also breaches the equality and anti-discrimination clauses 2, 3, and 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples? Rights, which Uganda has signed and pledged to uphold,? added Mr Tatchell.

God's Law - a logical rebuttal (Sent in by Vesanto)

On her radio show, Dr. Laura Schlesinger (a popular conservative radio
talk show host in the USA) said that homosexuality is an abomination
according to the Bible Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under
any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr.
Laura, penned by James M. Kauffman, Ed. D. It's funny, as well as
informative. _______________________

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I
have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... end of

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements
of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A
friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
her period of menstrual unseemliness - Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is
how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev. 1:9. The problem is my neighbours.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath.
Exodus35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally
obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees'
of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I\
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
together to stone them? Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to
death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep
with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed. D.
Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special
Education University of Virginia