Target: Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda
Goal: Thank Uganda for overturning a cruel and unnecessary anti-homosexuality law
Recently, Uganda passed a bill that made homosexual acts eligible for life imprisonment and also banned the promotion of homosexuality throughout the country. That bill was signed into law in February 2014. Since that time, this ForceChange petition called for the law to be overturned and several Western donors cut financial aid to Uganda. In the past, Ugandan leaders have said that President Yoweri Museveni wanted “to demonstrate Uganda’s independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation”.
Uganda is a very conservative country by nature, a place where most people oppose homosexuality and where homosexual acts have often led to punishment. But despite public opinion, the Constitutional Court judge ruled that the anti-homosexuality bill would be null and void because not enough lawmakers were present to vote on the bill.
“The retrogressive anti-homosexuality act of Uganda has been struck down by the constitutional court – it’s now dead as a door nail,” the AFP news agency quotes journalist and petitioner Andrew Mwenda as saying.
Insider sources speculate that the judge’s decision may have been influenced by the president’s upcoming visit to Washington, DC for the US-Africa Summit. But regardless of the reason, the establishment of any anti-homosexual legislation is positive and a step in the right direction.
Sign the below petition to urge Ugandan leaders to reconsider their position on homosexuality laws in a modern, global environment. Rather than only catering to the preferences of foreign funders, encourage these leaders to treat all Ugandan citizens with dignity and respect.
Dear President Museveni,
The Ugandan Constitutional Court judge’s reversal ruling on the recently passed anti-homosexuality law is a step in the right direction for the preservation of human rights. However, please ensure that Ugandan leaders support this reversal for the right reasons. It is no secret that funding from the United States, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands was cut off after the recent anti-homosexuality bill was passed in Uganda.
I am urging you to work with government authorities throughout your country to help leaders understand modern homosexuality in a clear and unbiased way. Without understanding, local leaders will remain set in their ways and continue to support legislation that conflicts with equal rights treatment. The global environment is continuously changing and evolving, even in remote Ugandan villages. Although you certainly don’t need to abandon your cultural traditions, you must be open-minded to change and you should treat all of your citizens with care and respect.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: rUssEll shAw hIggs via Flickr