- December 20, 2013
Post submitted by Charlie Joughin, former HRC Press Secretary
Uganda's parliament on Friday gave final passage to an anti-homosexuality bill that punishes "aggravated homosexuality" with life imprisonment. The bill now goes to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who has indicated in the past that he does not favor the measure. Ugandan advocates decry that the bill was passed without any public notice and questions remain as to whether a sufficient quorum was achieved to pass the bill.
“Representatives of the Ugandan government have launched a shameful sneak attack on their own people. If this bill becomes law, countless LGBT Ugandans will be condemned to violence or prison,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “The United States government has a moral obligation to use every tool at its disposal to put a stop to this legislation.”
The legislation that passed today previously included the death penalty as a possible sentence for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” Like a recently enacted law in Russia that prohibits “homosexual propaganda,” this bill makes it criminal for any individual or corporation to “promote” homosexuality.
A number of American extremists are among those who spent years whipping up the hatred that fueled this bill – Scott Lively chief among them.
Lively is an American “pastor” who advocates for archaic and despicable anti-LGBT laws and policies in Uganda and around the world. Lively’s 2009 visit to Uganda is currently the subject of a lawsuit in Massachusetts in which he stands accused of committing crimes against humanity for inspiring hatred and violence towards gay people. In addition to his efforts in Uganda, Lively also claims to be one of the masterminds behind Russia’s recent crackdown on the civil rights of LGBT people. Lively’s fringe views, which include blaming the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide on gay people, are rejected by reasonably-thinking Americans.
“Perhaps most disgusting is the fact that American extremists have worked tirelessly in the name of Christianity to see this bill passed,” continued HRC’s Griffin. “True people of faith know that calling for the imprisonment of an entire community is not in line with Christian values. American Christian faith leaders with ties to Uganda must speak out and call on their colleagues in Uganda to oppose this bill from becoming law.”