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Canada’s House of Commons Condemns Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

March 25th, 2010

Canada’s House of Commons yesterday unanimously condemned Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is currently before Uganda’s Parliament. That bill, if enacted, would impose the death sentence in certain circumstances, and would even criminalize providing health services to, renting to, or merely knowing someone who is gay.

The motion before Canada’s House of Commons was introduced by New Democrat MB Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas, BC). According to a press release from Siksay’s office, the motion reads:

That this House commends the Government of Canada for the clear position it has taken against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently being debated in the Parliament of Uganda and encourages continued direct diplomatic efforts in conjunction with other countries and organizations to see the bill withdrawn, homosexuality fully decriminalized in Uganda, and the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual Ugandans fully respected.

After the vote, Siskay said:

“I very much appreciate the co-operation of the Conservative Party, the Bloc Québecois, and the Liberal Party.  All parties in the House worked together to take a stand against this regressive bill and in solidarity with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual community in Uganda,” said Siksay.  “Given this strong all party commitment to GLBTT rights, I hope that the government will continue to pursue this issue at all possible levels.”

“This bill is an attack on human rights and civil liberties.  Canada must continue to do all it can to see that it is withdrawn,” concluded Siksay.

MP Siksay became the first openly gay non-incumbent to be elected to Parliament in 2004. Siksay serves as the NDP’s Critic in the shadow government for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Transsexual issues.

Comments

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Paul in Canada
March 25th, 2010 | LINK

Not only is this an amazing declaration, it is also signficant that it was unanimously endorsed including our right-leaning Conservative government whose agenda is not seen as very pro-gay!

Not only does it condemn the bill but insists that ‘the bill be withdrawn, homosexuality fully decriminalized in Uganda, and the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual Ugandans fully respected.

Well done Canada.

Paul in Canada
March 25th, 2010 | LINK

Ironically, none of the major media org’s are carrying this story but you can read more here:
http://www.xtra.ca/blog/national/post/2010/03/24/MPs-pass-motion-calling-for-withdrawal-of-Ugandas-anti-gay-bill.aspx

Priya Lynn
March 25th, 2010 | LINK

Paul, I’m surprised as well that the Conservatives voted for it unanimously. I guess even they are realizing that bigotry is no longer socially acceptable.

Bene D
March 25th, 2010 | LINK

Svend Robinson is notable for having been the first Canadian MP to come out as gay, in spring 1988. He has since been followed by other gay and lesbian politicians in Parliament: Bloc Québécois MP Réal Ménard, fellow New Democrats Libby Davies and Bill Siksay, and Liberal Party of Canada MPs Scott Brison and Mario Silva, as well as Senators Laurier LaPierre and Nancy Ruth. – wiki Svend Robinson

We have bigots, the CP whip would have seen they toe the party line in this motion.

This follows on the heels of the Commonwealth summit in November 2009 when the PM and PMO spoke out publicly, and spoke to Yoweri Museveni.

http://tiny.cc/xfey7

anteros
March 25th, 2010 | LINK

decriminalization…
that’s what i’m talking about!

gotta love Canada:-)

anteros
March 25th, 2010 | LINK

actually… in recent months, Uganda has demonstrated just how badly its LGBT citizens need laws to protect them from discrimination and hate crimes.

…one step at a time? …or settle for nothing less than the protection of basic human rights?

anteros
March 25th, 2010 | LINK

i read it again… doesn’t stop at decriminalization… respecting the rights of LGBT Ugandans is included.

wow!
i’m amazed:-)

Patrick Garies
March 26th, 2010 | LINK

I think the most heartening part is:

“That this House […] encourages continued direct diplomatic efforts […] to see […] homosexuality fully decriminalized in Uganda […]”

Not only are they directly attacking the bill (which hasn’t been approved yet), but they’re unequivocally condemning the existing law of the country which is just as important.

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