Press Statement –
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Kampala 13 February 2012
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) gravely opposes the Parliament’s re-tabling of Hon. David Bahati’s notorious “Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 on 7 February 2012 at the opening of the 9th Parliament. The re-tabling of the Bill comes a few days after the first anniversary of the murder of SMUG’s Advocacy and Litigation Officer - David Kato who was killed on 26 January 2011.
“This bill if passed will only serve to show that the state is not committed to protecting minority groups within its borders” said Dennis Wamala, Vice Chair SMUG Executive Board.
Last week international media widely reported that the bill has been amended to remove the provision that would assign the death penalty to someone who was convicted of ‘serial’ acts of homosexuality. However this is inaccurate. While Hon. Bahati has indicated his ‘willingness’ as the Member moving the Bill to remove the provision, the version re-tabled appears to be the original, intact form. According to SMUG, even if such an amendment were to be recommended and adopted, it would render the Bill no more acceptable.
“This bill is not only about homosexuality, but it can actually target the heterosexual community, who, for instance, fail to disclose people they know are homosexuals. We shall fight it to end” said Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of SMUG and 2011 Laureate - Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.
We call on the Members of Parliament and the executive to focus on the real issues that are affecting the nation such as unemployment, inadequate health services especially with the outbreak of the ‘nodding disease’ in Northern Uganda.
“It is un-African to suggest killing, whether it is because of sexual orientation or any other reason. We think this bill is very unfair. We are lobbying for its removal,” said Anglican priest Michael Kimindu, the African president of the Other Sheep, a gay rights group in Kenya.
Sexual Minorities Uganda reiterates that the bill be withdrawn in its entirety because it is antihuman rights and affects every Uganda in ways they do not understand. “With or without the death penalty, this Bill remains unacceptable, and Ugandans who love their country, regardless of sexual orientation, should stand against it.” Pepe Julian Onziema.
SMUG urges all Ugandan allies to take the following actions:
• Contact the leadership of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee and express
your opposition to the Bill.
• Issue public statements condemning this bill
* Write emails to and/or call Ugandan Members of Parliament (MPs) urging them to resist and reject the Bill in its entirety.. The full list of all 386 Members of Parliament can be found at http://www.parliament.go.ug/mpdata/mps.he
We urge our Regional and International Partners to take the following actions:
• Contact Ugandan embassies in foreign countries and express your opposition to the Bill in any form.
Sexual Minorities Uganda - SMUG is a network of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex organizations based in Uganda. SMUG is the 2011 Laureate of The Rafto Prize.
For further details, contact:
Frank Mugisha – firstname.lastname@example.org
Pepe Julian Onziema- email@example.com