The anonymous blogger GayUganda passes on a press release from a group of Ugandan human rights advocates and AIDS service providers led by Anglican priest Canon Gideon Byamugisha, announcing a meeting with Parliament speaker Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuka on Monday to present their opposition to the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. They also plan on presenting a petition to the Speaker and members of Parliament signed by more than half a million people around the world. After the meeting, there is to be a press conference.
People locally voicing opposition to the bill is absolutely vital, and much more important than outcry from abroad. This is a very important meeting. No one meeting will likely change things, but pastor Martin Ssempa and others have had an almost exclusive hold on the rhetoric behind the bill until now. The question now is whether Ugandan media will pick up on it.
In December, Canon Byamugisha blasted the proposed bill, calling it “state-legislated genocide against a specific community of Ugandans.” He also lambasted it as a cynical ploy by the ruling party for the upcoming elections. President Yoweri is seeking to extend his 24-year lock on power in 2011 despite his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party being rocked by a long series of financial corruption scandals.
Update: Uganda’s Daily Monitor has picked up the story with a photo: