While here in the United States homosexuals and transgender’s are fighting for simple liberties such as the right to marry, in Uganda they’re fighting for the right to simply live. The country’s leaders have proposed a anti homosexuality bill which if adopted into law threatens to imprison homosexuals and even put them to death for having sexual relations with someone of the same gender. Produced on October 14, 2009 in Uganda’s parliament, the bill is being labeled inhumane (naturally) in its violation of basic human rights, and caused the leaders of international human rights organizations to campaign for its dismissal.
“Right now, you can’t go to places that are crowded, because the mob can attack us or even burn us. We can’t walk alone. We are ostracized by relatives. But if this bill passes, it will become impossible for me to live here at all. And that part hurts the most,”
With homosexuality already being illegal in Uganda, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill features several disturbing provisions including:
- Gay men and lesbians convicted of having sex with someone of the same sex would be sentenced to – at minimum – life in prison;
- People who test positive for HIV may face execution
- Homosexuals who have sex with a minor, or engage in homosexual sex more than once, may also receive the death penalty
- The bill forbids the “promotion of homosexuality,” which in effect bans organizations working in HIV and AIDS prevention
- Anyone who knows of homosexual activity taking place but does not report it would risk up to three years in prison
- Those who participate in same sex activity in other countries where homosexuality is in fact legal, will also face extreme punishment
“Who will go to HIV testing if he knows that he will suffer the death sentence?” Elizabeth Mataka, the U.N. Special Envoy on AIDS in Africa, told reporters last week. “The law will drive them away from seeking counseling and testing services.”
Lawmakers have indicated that they will indeed pass this bill before year’s end, making this more a reality to the homosexual inhabitants of Uganda rather than a bad dream you’d just like to wake up from.
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