Main | Monday, March 01, 2010

Stop Kill Gays Bill: 450K Signatures Delivered To Uganda Government

Today activists delivered more than 450,000 signatures to the Ugandan government on a petition protesting the "kill gays" bill.
The online petition was organised by campaign group Avaaz, which hopes to eventually garner one million signatures. It was delivered to Uganda’s parliament in Kampala this morning by a delegation led by Anglican priest Canon Gideon Byamugisha. The petition was accompanied by a letter asking parliament to reject the controversial bill and instead pass legislation to protect gay people. The Daily Monitor reports that the Speaker of Parliament Edward Sekandi promised the delegation he would refer the petition to a committee for scrutiny. If passed, the legislation will impose the death penalty on those who have homosexual sex with a minor, disabled person, while infected with AIDS. The death penalty would also be imposed on repeat offenders, while others convicted for having gay sex would be jailed for life, instead of the current 14-year term. Those who fail to report homosexual activity, such as relatives, teachers, landlords or health workers, would also face prison sentences.
Despite international condemnation including threats to suspend foreign aid, the bill has not been withdrawn. The legislation first got legs after being promoted by American evangelists and GOP politicians, some of whom have backtracked on their words somewhat.

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