By melanie Nathan, May 02, 2023.
The Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 was passed in Uganda's Parliament for the second time and is now on its way to President Museveni for assent. The Bill was read and passed again, after the Committee had returned it to Parliament with suggested amendments. Parliament made slight adjustments to the Act, but for the most part it stands as originally passed, and as harsh, still including the death penalty for so called “aggravated homosexuality”. Should Museveni not sign the law, it will be returned to parliament where it is like it can pass with a 2/3rd majority vote.
African Human Rights Coalition’s Statement on Uganda’s Passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023: African Human Rights Coalition stands in solidarity with our Ugandan LGBTQI+ community and all the human rights defenders and allies who have fought so courageously to avert the devastating passage of a law that is unconstitutional and dangerous. This law hurts all Ugandans as it has passed Parliament standing in a spotlight that reflects years and years of lies and myth about LGBTQI+ people, demonizing all, while licensing discrimination, persecution and extreme violence, by state and non-state actors alike. The Ugandan parliamentarians have chosen to follow and bow to the re-colonizing white American Evangelicals who have exported homophobia to Africa. The Parliamentarians have based this law on unproven lies. The lie that all LGBTQI+ people are deviants with the only purpose to promote homosexuality, recruit children into homosexuality, implying ALL LGBTQI+ are satanic pedophiles. The truth is that the Colonizers are the ones who brought homophobia to Africa, not homosexuality, an innate human sexuality common to all ethnicities, races, regardless of continent. Sexuality, in all its forms, is as African as it is American as it is European or Asian etc. All humanity is the equal in bodily function and BEING, as in human being. No one should be sentenced to life in prison or death simply for who they love. No one should be deprived of human relationship, regardless of sexuality or gender identity. No one should be denied their privacy as a consenting adult to be intimate with the partner to whom they are attracted. No one should be denied getting old with the love of their life. Least of all criminalized with life in prison or death for it! The Ugandan Parliamentarians have voted gleefully, in shameful ignorance, as we know few have done their homework, such as trying to understand the meaning of human sexuality, speak to experts, dine with a gay couple, visit a family of two moms who have raised accomplished children, ask a gay forty year old how they came out, a lesbian 35 year old to explain her sexuality trajectory, read books about people’s coming out stories, questioned Apple CEO Tim Cook on his experience of being a gay man, read the science of sexuality, case studies, or even spoken to a LGBTI person- asking even a single question.
African Human Rights Coalition respects Uganda’s sovereignty to make law based on what it deems best for its people. Yet, "best for its people" in this instance is deeply flawed - as it is based on myth and lie and the import of hate. If Uganda wants to participate in the global world and economy, then it must adhere to international standards pertaining to human rights. Sovereignty can only truly function with this balance, and if it cannot participate accordingly, then Uganda can expect sanctions and isolation.
African Human Rights Coalition will continue to do all in its power to shelter and cradle all those driven from their beloved homeland because of who they are and who they love. We pledge to provide our support through advocacy, and humanitarian services and referrals. At the same time we will pledge to expose each and every politician by name. Each one who failed to do their homework and still voted for hate and violence, in flagrant disregard for basic human rights will be exposed and their legacy will reflect this shameful day. Robbing fellow Ugandans of their freedom to love is as bad as any crime. These Parliamentarians will receive their due in the global arena. These parliamentarians will be denied entry to the U.S.A. and the EU and canada. Their children will not be admitted to global universities, their off shore bank accounts will be frozen, they will be the cause of the loss of funding and aid to Uganda.... actually hurting all their people and there will be more accountability.
Let us see if Museveni has the guts to sign the Bill? After all he has taunted the world wit his rhetoric to rid Africa and the world of homosexuality and his declaration that he will not succumb to American Imperialism. How ironic when he and all parliamentarians have succumbed to American Evangelicalism. And if he does not sign, we know the Parliamentarians can still pass the legislation and have no doubt that they will. In the meantime there is still time to stop this hateful horrific law and that can only happen if the Ugandan government stops hunting gays and the parliamentarians spend the next 30 days educating themselves on the truth about LGBTQI+ people., noting that there are already laws that deal with rape, defilement and pedophilia. There is no need to Kill the Gays. Let God - not man- or woman- be the judge- just as the Bible says. ALUTA CONTINUA - FOR GOD AND COUNTRY - THE GOD WHO LOVES US ALL AND CREATED US TO LOVE AND LIVE IN PEACE - NEVER TO JUDGE ....
Stay tuned for updates. SEE HRAPF ANALYSIS
So the next 30 days are critical and advocates can do a lot to possibly impact change. Here are examples of what African Human Rights Coalition is doing at this time:
AHRC is providing full briefings to multinational corporations about best practices in pressuring President Museveni to veto the Bill, to include releasing culturally appropriate statements for public to see standing;
AHRC is reaching out Parliamentarians to point out the flaws in the basis for voting for the Bill with educational pointers
AHRC is consulting with funders to reflect experience in years of experience in the field and region while encouraging flexible funding available be made available to LGBTQI+ organizations working in the region
AHRC continues as it has done for the past ten years to advocate for creative and imperative pathways for those forcibly displaced. We now implore upon governments to issue emergency humanitarian visas for all and any LGBTQI+ Ugandans and Ugandan LGBTQI+ human rights defenders. These pathways should extend to anyone in Africa subjected to anti-homosexuality persecution especially where government criminalizes, not just Uganda.
AHRC continues to provide mentoring, guidelines, case management, advocacy and direct humanitarian services, to include immediate triage, to anyone from Uganda forcibly displaced in this climate of hunting gays, persecution and violence, as it has done for the past 10 years. DONATIONS HERE. Support LGBTqI relocation and safe shelters: DONATE HERE