May 12th, 2011
Human Rights Watch has issued a press release saying that they have seen the report from Uganda’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, which held hearings on Friday and Monday on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Despite denunciations from human rights groups and the U.S. State Department, the committee’s report with its recommendations was forwarded to Parliament Speaker Edward Ssekandi on Tuesday, which allowed the bill to show up on Parliament’s agenda on Wednesday. The bill was scheduled to go through its second and third reading as the last item on the agenda. It would have been during the second reading when the committee’s report would be revealed and recommendations discussed and either adopted or rejected. Once any and all amendments have been considered, then the bill would undergo its third reading in its final form for a vote.
Despite erroneous news reports to the contrary, the bill has not been amended since its introduction in October, 2009. To understand the committee’s recommendations, it’s important to review what the bill would do in its current form. It passed, it would:
There has been much speculation about what the committee’s report recommends. HRW says that the recommendations amount to minimal tweaks, plus a whole new “crime” that wasn’t included before:
The committee proposes amendments to the October 2009 draft bill. Despite the suggestion by the bill’s author, David Bahati, that the death penalty could be deleted from the legislation, the committee recommends retaining it. The committee proposes rewording the provision to align with the current Penal Code provision on “aggravated defilement,” which is punishable by death.
Some recommendations integrate concerns raised by Ugandan and international human rights groups. The committee states that provisions criminalizing “attempted” homosexuality should be removed, rightly stating such allegations would be very difficult to prove, Human Rights Watch said. The committee also recognizes that provisions requiring anyone who knows of homosexual conduct to report to police within 24 hours would create “problems especially to professionals whose ethics include confidentiality in order to be able to carry out their functions like Doctors, Lawyers and Counselors.”
The committee also suggests removing the clauses on extra-territorial prosecution of homosexuality and on nullifying Uganda’s international human rights obligations to the extent that they contradict the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
The committee recommends the creation of an additional crime, “conduct[ing] a marriage ceremony between persons of the same sex,” punishable by three years in prison, which was not in the original draft. It also suggests deleting the crimes of “aiding and abetting homosexuality,” and “conspiracy to commit homosexuality,” but including a penalty of seven years in prison for “procuring homosexuality by threats.” The committee did not comment on the current proposed provision criminalizing the “promotion of homosexuality,” which would jeopardize the legitimate work of national and international activists and organizations working to defend and promote human rights in Uganda.
Warren Throckmorton has looked into Uganda’s constitution and Rules of Procedures to understand what is at stake when Parliament reconvenes tomorrow morning:
Apparently, President Museveni cannot directly veto the AHB. I confirmed this with two sources today and read through their Rules of Procedure and Constitution. He can send it back or refuse to assent to it (although it would be the first time he has ever done so) but he cannot directly stop it. If he refuses to assent to it, Parliament can either turn around and pass it or they can wait 30 days for it to become law. It can either pass or fail tomorrow. If it comes up and fails then it is done in present form. If it doesn’t come up tomorrow, then a MP can make a motion to continue all business forward. In addition, I heard today, but cannot confirm that if no motion is passed to continue all business, then the new incoming Speaker could direct the committees to pick up where they left off with unfinished bills from the last Parliament. We apparently could be monitoring this particular AHB until at least May 19.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.