In lengthy statement, LGBT activists label Anti-Homosexuality Bill “colonial homophobia,” and link its creation to American Evangelicals
GetEQUAL has just issued a statement calling on U.S. Senators to publicly repudiate Uganda‘s “Kill The Gays” bill, calling it a “horrifying law… created and supported by American right-wing evangelicals in order to impress American right-wing politicians.”
GetEQUAL also is offering a petition to help rally support to “Kill the Bill — Not LGBT Ugandans!“
The statement effectively offers both context and history, so we are publishing it in full, below:
GetEQUAL Condemns Pending Vote in Ugandan Parliament to Execute LGBT Ugandans
Calls on U.S. Senators to Publicly Condemn the Bill
WASHINGTON, DC — GetEQUAL — a national civil rights organization pushing for the full federal equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans — condemns the pending vote in the Ugandan Parliament to extend legalized capital punishment for identified LGBT persons. The legislation extends harsh punishments, including fines and prison sentences, even to persons who know LGBT Ugandans but fail to report them to authorities — including family, clergy, counselors, and friends of LGBT Ugandans.
“This horrifying law now before the Ugandan Parliament should be removed from consideration immediately,” said Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEQUAL. “This law was created and supported by American right-wing evangelicals in order to impress American right-wing politicians — it’s colonial homophobia, pure and simple. The American radical-right isn’t satisfied with legal homophobia in the U.S., so they’ve taken to the African continent to kill us — this bill would expand the climate of fear across Africa, and it is unacceptable for Americans to be exporting hate with such draconian consequences.”
The law calls for execution of anyone engaging in same- sex behavior, imprisonment for anyone known to be helping LGBT Ugandans (including landlords renting out an apartment), and even possible jail time for those who fail to report someone else who has engaged in same-sex behavior – including medical personnel, counselors, and family members.
According to GetEQUAL sources, the bill could come up for a vote at any moment.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) — or the “Kill the Gays” bill — was originally introduced by Ugandan parliamentarian David Bahati in 2009 through the aggressive advocacy of extreme right-wing Americans Scott Lively, Rick Warren and Lou Engle — Christian fundamentalists affiliated with “The Family,” a secretive organization based in Washington, DC, which serves as the chief sponsor of the annual National Prayer Breakfast held in the nation’s capital. The bill hascome up again this year, conveniently brought up by the Speaker of Parliament at the same time that massive oil-related corruption charges have surfaced against Members of Parliament. Various news outlets have wrongly reported over the past few days that the death penalty has been removed from the bill; actually, the death penalty is still in the bill as of now, and has been used as a talking point by Ugandan officials to convince U.S. officials that the bill has been “softened.”
In recent days, GetEQUAL has called upon American politicians who are known to be part of “The Family” — including U.S. Senators Jim Demint (R-SC), James Inofe (R-OK), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) — to publicly denounce the bill and to urge Ugandan Members of Parliament to kill the bill.
“GetEQUAL calls on the American elected officials who have supported Uganda’s anti-gay legislation to repudiate the bill and its intent to target, arrest, or kill LGBT persons,” said Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, national field director of GetEQUAL.
In solidarity with other organizations on the national and international levels that are monitoring the situation in Uganda, GetEQUAL has staged protest actions in New York City at the Ugandan Mission and in Washington, D.C. at the Ugandan Embassy, and plans to hold protests in the near future throughout the country.
GetEQUAL has also launched a new public information campaign featuring images of activists across the country who have written the slogan “Uganda, Arrest Me Too” on their hands, urging Members of Parliament in Uganda to think about the full impact of this law on LGBT Ugandans and on those who support them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Earlier this year, Scott Lively — who has traveled to Uganda and held workshops there encouraging elected officials to legally attack LGBT Ugandans — was sued by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) under the Alien Tort Claims Act. The legal action was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, which alleges that Lively’s involvement in anti-gay efforts in Uganda, including his active participation in the formulation of anti-gay legislation and policies aimed at revoking fundamental right from LGBT persons, constitutes persecution. This is the first known Alien Tort Statute case seeking accountability for persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
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