Removing death sentence from Anti-Homosexuality Bill Is inadequate, says TWO
(NEW YORK) – Truth Wins Out is calling on Uganda’s government to decriminalize homosexuality and eliminate the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill. It was reported last week that Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni would soften the bill by getting rid of the death penalty. However, this hardly makes this draconian bill acceptable and would still make life unbearable for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Ugandans, said TWO.
“This is still an intolerable, oppressive bill that is designed to terrorize and dehumanize sexual minorities in Uganda,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “While physical death is reportedly removed as a punishment, the bill still ensures a slow, emotional and spiritual death for thousands of gay Ugandans.”
The Associated Press reports that President Yoweri Museveni has told colleagues he believes the bill is too harsh and has encouraged his ruling National Resistance Movement Party to overturn the death sentence provision of the draft law.
In the proposed bill, anyone convicted of a homosexual act — which includes touching someone of the same sex with the intent of committing a homosexual act –would face life imprisonment.
James Nsaba Buturo, Uganda’s ironically titled minister of state for ethics and integrity, has floated replacing the death penalty with compulsory “ex-gay” counseling, presumably from prison. This comes only months after American ex-gay ministers gave seminars on curing homosexuality in Kampala.
“The death penalty is likely to be removed,” said Buturo. “The president doesn’t believe in killing gays. I also don’t believe in it. I think gays can be counseled and they stop the bad habit.”
“Although the president is against some parts of the bill, the bill has to stay,” said ruling party spokeswoman Mary Karoro Okurut.”(Homosexuality) is not allowed in African culture. We have to protect the children in schools who are being recruited into homosexual activities.”
“The idea that homosexuality can be prohibited in Africa is as absurd and unrealistic as banning oxygen,” said TWO’s Besen. “Gay people are not a threat to children. We do not recruit them. It is clear that the Ugandan government is awash in ignorance and trying to legislate based on false stereotypes and misinformation. Unfortunately, American evangelicals and ex-gay organizations are responsible for spreading these lies and propaganda in Africa.”