Uganda to pass a very severe gay death penalty law
Posted on 2:55pm Sunday 13th Dec 2009
In Uganda, the law makers are proposing legislation which would impose the death penalty for some gay Ugandans, and their families could face up to seven years in jail if they fail to report them to the authorities.
Even landlords could be imprisoned for renting houses to homosexuals.
Gay rights activists say the Bill , which has prompted growing international opposition, promotes hatred and could set back efforts to combat HIV / AIDS.
They believe the Bill is part of a backlash because Africa's gay community is becoming more vocal.
When gay people come out and ask for their rights, laws are passed against these persons.
The legislation has drawn global attention from activists across the spectrum of views on gay issues.
The measure was proposed in Uganda following a visit by leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy for gays to become heterosexual.
However, at least one of those leaders has denounced the Bill, as have some conservative and liberal Christians in the U.S.
Gay rights activists say the legislation is likely to become law.
The draft Bill is still being debated and could undergo changes before a vote, which has not yet been set.
The draft Ugandan legislation in its current form would mandate a death sentence for active homosexuals living with HIV / AIDS or in cases of same - sex rape. " Serial offenders" also could face capital punishment, but the legislation does not define the term. Anyone convicted of a homosexual act faces life imprisonment.
Anyone who " aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality" faces seven years in prison if convicted.
Anyone who is a landlord, who rents rooms or homes to homosexuals also could get seven years and anyone with " religious, political, economic or social authority" who fails to report anyone violating the draft legislation, faces three years in prison.
Gay rights activists abroad are focusing on the legislation.
Protests against the draft Bill are scheduled in Europe next week. Last month protests were held in New York and Washington.
The sponsor of the draft Bill said he was encouraging constructive criticism to improve the law, but insisted strict measures were necessary to stop homosexuals from recruiting school children.
One senior school teacher was of the opinion that youths in secondary schools copy everything from the western world and from the U.S.
They were of the opinion that a good number of students were converted into gays. Groups of people were allegedly given money by some gay organisations of developed countries, to recruit youth into gay activities.
It is thought the death sentence clause would be reviewed, but the Ugandan Ethics Department maintain the law is necessary to combat foreign influence.
Uganda is not the only country considering anti - gay laws.
Nigeria , where homosexuality is already punishable by imprisonment or death is considering strengthening penalties for activities deemed to promote it.
Burundi has recently passed legislation banning same - sex relationships and Rwanda is considering it.
Homophobia is rife even in more tolerant African countries.
In South Africa, the only African nation to recognise gay marriage, gangs carry out so - called corrective rapes on lesbians. A 19 year old lesbian athlete was gang raped , tortured and murdered in 2008.
Debate over the draft Ugandan Bill follows a conference in Kampala earlier this year attended by American activists who consider same - gender relationships sinful and believe gays and lesbians can become hetrosexual through prayer and counselling. A sexual reorientation coach took part.
Gay activists argue that the draft Bill is so badly drafted that one could be imprisoned for giving a hug.
One Ugandan voiced the opinion that in the beginning , missionaries brought religion , they said they were bringing love, they brought hate through homophobia.
The United Nations AIDS organisation are of he opinion the draft Bill could hinder the fight against HIV / AIDS by driving people underground. Activists also worry that the legislation could be used to blackmail and silence government critics.
Is the law sometimes used to violate Human Rights ? I think so.