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Ugandan Cabinet Minister: Anti-Homosexuality Bill Will Be Passed “In Due Course”

Jim Burroway

October 22nd, 2010

CNN has a story following up on the “Hang Them” outing campaign recently waged by the now-suspended tabloid Rolling Stone (no relation to the U.S. magazine by the same name). CNN spoke with LGBT advocate Julian Pepe, who said that in the aftermath of the outing campaign, Sexual Minorities Uganda is helping those who are being attacked:

“We are providing some with psychological support,” she said. “People have been attacked, we are having to relocate others, some are quitting their jobs because they are being verbally abused. It’s a total commotion.”

Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Butoro dismisses the reports that LGBT people are being attacked:

“They [the activists] are always lying,” Buturo said. “It’s their way of mobilizing support from outside, they are trying to get sympathy from outside. It’s part of the campaign.”

Buturo also told CNN that the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which has been held in Parliamentary committee for most of the year, will be debated in Parliament and passed “in due course.” He added, “Of course I hope it passes.”

The bill, if passsed in its current form, would impose the death penalty on LGBT people under certain circumstances (including if the individual is HIV-positive or is a “serial offender”). It would also impose a three year sentence on anyone who failed to report an LGBT person to police within 24 hours of learning of that fact. The bill would also outlaw all free speech and advocacy by or on behalf of LGBT people in Uganda, and provide for extradition of LGBT Ugandans living abroad for prosecution back home.

"Hang Them; They Are After Our Kids", published in the October 2, 2010 edition of the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (Names, places and photo obscured by BTB. Click to enlarge)

"Hang Them; They Are After Our Kids", published in the October 2, 2010 edition of the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (Names, places and photo obscured by BTB. Click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, the Ugandan tabloid which launched the latest outing campaign may be back in business soon. Paul Mukasa, secretary of the Media Council, said that the reason Rolling Stone was shut down was because they failed to file the required permits

“Until they fill in the required paperwork, they are breaking the law,” Mukasa said.

The secretary said the newspaper has initiated the process “to put their house in order.”

“Some rights groups have complained that the newspaper is inciting people, but the council is focusing on its lack of paperwork,” Mukasa said.

This contradicts what  Media Council’s Executive Secretary Haruna Kanaah told Voice of America yesterday, but it is consistent with the letter that was sent to Rolling Stone’s editors from the media council.

Which means that any day now, we may see Rolling Stone’s parts two through four of their vigilante campaign hit the streets again. The tabloid’s editor, Giles Muhame, defended the campaign, saying that he published the names so authorities could arrest those named. He also told VOA that journalists had a duty to expose the so-called “evil in the Ugandan society,” and that the campaign will resume in upcoming issues once the paper resumes publication.

Comments

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Robert Ray
October 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Hang the bastards that pass the bill, if they do.

paul canning
October 22nd, 2010 | LINK

The Guardian has today published the Gay Uganda blog’s author’s post >http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/22/being-gay-in-uganda. I am so pleased to see a near-universal positive response in the thread.

I made a point of posting again a link to Dr. Greg Stanton’s explanation of The Eight Stages of Genocide.

View it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nANyb1ftAg4

Tone
October 22nd, 2010 | LINK

The “Ethics and Integrity Minister” tells bald-faced lies about the nature of LGBT oppression. I wish it were easier to boycott Uganda. At the very least they should be put out of the Commonwealth.

Kevin
October 25th, 2010 | LINK

The international community should freeze the assets of any politician who votes for this bill. That will have a way of dissuading teapot despots.

Janet
October 27th, 2010 | LINK

I have two questions:

1. How can we help those organizations that are assisting gay people and their families affected by this persecution?
2. What is the effect of this legislation on gay people’s families, parents, straight spouses, and children? Or aren’t gay people in Uganda allowed to admit they have families?

Ok, that was three questions.

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