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Uganda activists: "Kill The Gays" bill has top priority in Parliament

(Editor's note: The Uganda Parliament is scheduled to return on Monday morning, Kampala time.)

KAMPALA, Uganda -- The Anti-Homosexuality Bill today was upgraded to Item No. 1 on the “Order of Business to Follow” of the Uganda Parliament, according to a leading human rights group in Kampala.

The bill may be tabled in a matter of hours from now, the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights & Constitutional Law (Coalition) said in an email to supporters and allies.

The Coalition said it obtained the copy of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2012 and that “it is clear that none of the provisions have been changed from those of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009. It is still the ‘Kill The Gays’ bill!”

The report of the Legal & Parliamentary Affairs Committee, which debated the bill, has still not been released.

The Coalition said “now is the time of all of us to be as loud as we can in our condemnation of the efforts to pass the bill.”

Here are steps that the Coalition recommended in the email sent by co-coordinators Geoffrey Ogwaro and Clare Byaruaba:

In terms of messaging, we encourage our civil society allies locally and globally to advocate in all ways possible to stress:

* The important of Uganda observing the constitutionally entrenches human rights and dignity of all its citizens

* Access to health as a right for all and a public health benefit for all

* The need to consistent constitutionalism

* That respect for majority opinions go hand-in-hand with the protection of minorities

You can do this among others through:

* Campaigns

* Peaceful demonstrations at Ugandan embassies, the Parliament of Uganda, the Parliaments of other countries

* Oral public statements

* Written statement

* Open letters

* Calls to your MPs to put pressure on your national government to exert the necessary pressure on the government of Uganda

* Calls to celebrities you know who may be willing to make a public statement

* Calls to major print and visual media to encourage them to cover the story – and complaints if they do not

* And any other method deemed fitting as long as it is peaceful, and legal

We kindly request that:

* If you make any statements, please send us a soft copy and authorize us to place it on the www.ugandans4rights website

* If there is any news coverage be it on TV, radio or Internet, please avail us the necessary material to put on our website, or a link that we can put on the website.

* If you are on Twitter, you can follow us on @ugandans4rights and encourage others to follow and retweet any updates we send

* Share with us information on any other action you have taken

* Make a donation to the Coalition’s Security Fund by going to our website and finding the Donate buttons.

If you need more information as the situation unfolds, please email us on ahbcoalition.coordinator@gmail.com