21 October 2009

Uganda: Homosexuality Bill Rejected

Some rights activists have described the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a violation of human rights and want it to be withdrawn immediately.

The Bill introduced by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati would see a death penalty imposed on anyone engaged in gay sex with someone below 18 years, or when the accused is HIV-positive.

In a statement yesterday, a coalition of 17 local and international human and gay rights activists said the Bill only promotes discrimination and criminalises the legitimate work of national and international activists working in defence and promotion of human rights in Uganda.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda. "This draft bill is clearly an attempt to divide and weaken civil society by striking at one of its most marginalised groups," said Scott Long, the director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Programme at Human Rights Watch.

But Mr Bahati yesterday insisted the Bill be introduced, saying; "Homosexuality is not a human right at all."

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