An official with the US Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, has said that the new Anti-Homosexuality Bill, if enacted into law, would “mark a major setback in the promotion of human rights.”
We urge states to take all necessary measures to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests, or detention.
Ugandan Ethics Minister James Nsaba Buturo spoke with journalists today. While acknowledging the great numbers of “foreigners” who express grave concern over the possibility of such a bill becoming law, he made it clear that he is not paying attention to them.
Buturo balked at the notion that the proposed bill — which, among other things, would criminalise any public discussion of homosexuality and could penalise an individual who knowingly rented property to a homosexual — constituted a human rights violation.
“We are really getting tired of this phrase human rights. It is being abused. Anything goes, and if you are challenged? ‘Oh, it’s my right’,” the minister snapped.
The proposed bill would have wide ranging effects, making it a crime to even know a gay or lesbian in Uganda without reporting them to the authorities. Public discussion of GLBT issues would come to a full stop as that too could be punished as “promoting” homosexuality.
A Facebook group on this issue has been set up by Warren Throckmorton and has approx 700 members at last count.