The Ugandan Parliament is poised to bring back a bill that would sentence lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people to death in the next couple of weeks. In a recent speech, Rebecca Kadaga, speaker of the Ugandan parliament, promised to bring a vote on the proposed law — first introduced in 2009 — as “a Christmas gift” to the population. Millions around the world have joined Ugandans in calling for the end of the “Kill the Gays Bill.” After weeks of posturing, the bill was officially added to the Parliament’s schedule today.
“Death and imprisonment are sentences that should be reserved for only the worst crimes, not for living openly and loving who you choose,” says Andre Banks, Executive Director for All Out <http://www.allout.org/>, a global movement fighting for LGBT equality. “Ugandans are calling upon their government to put an end to the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill once and for all. All Out members from all over the world have stood with Ugandans before, and today they have take up that call again. We will not rest until this bill is deposited in the waste bin of history.”
When a version of the bill was introduced in 2011, more than 500,000 people signed an All Out petition in just three days.
“At the time, we knew there was a chance it might resurface. The speaker vowed to bring back the bill, and we vowed to stand with our partners in Uganda and fight if she did,” says Andre Banks.
The bill has been scheduled for an “order of business to follow” and could be voted on on Thursday, or any time thereafter. It is expected to easily pass, and then it will be up to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to veto the bill. If vetoed, the veto could be overturned by the assembly.
“This bill won’t stop us,” said Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). “We will continue to fight until we are free of this legislation. We cannot have oppression forever.”
Homosexual acts are already considered a crime in Uganda, and can lead up to 14 years in prison. While the final bill has not been made publicly available, allegedly the proposed law, nicknamed the “Kill the Gays Bill”, makes the existing legislation even stricter, establishing life imprisonment as the punishment for being in a same-sex relationship and the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which is loosely defined as a homosexual act committed by an HIV-positive person or acts with minors. So-called “serial offenders” would also face the death penalty.
Ugandans have been fighting back against the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill since 2009 when David Bahati first introduced the bill. The bill was shelved after Ugandans and the international community decried the legislation until Rebecca Kadaga resurfaced the bill when she became speaker in 2011.
For updated totals from All Out’s petition urging Uganda to drop the “Kill the Gays Bill”: http://www.allout.org/uganda
For more information about the “Kill the Gays Bill”:
About All Out:
All Out is bringing people together in every corner of the planet and of every identity – lesbian, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender and all that’s between and beyond – to build a world in which everyone can live freely and be embraced for who they are.
Write your own foreign ministry demanding they make immediate representations to the Ugandan government about the bill. Alternatively write or call your national embassy in Kampala. There are lists of foreign embassies in Uganda at:
If you want to contact Ugandan embassies in other capitals, there are partial lists and contact information at these URLS: