Target: President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni
Goal: Veto bill that punishes homosexuality in Uganda
A bill recently passed by Uganda’s parliament punishes those who participate in consensual gay sex. It also infringes on privacy rights, family life, and equality. The bill would be a significant step backward for Uganda, which made progress in respecting human rights in the past two years to respect human rights. The president should reject this bill that targets a minority, favoring human rights over political gain.
The bill has not been available for the public review, although it appeared in parliament – with no advance warning – in 2009. Activists in Uganda are fighting the bill on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. “We are outraged and disappointed that our MPs have expressed ignorance and intolerance by passing this bill,” said Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). “We shall work to challenge it through all avenues to prevent it from it from becoming law.”
If passed, the bill would mean life in prison for anyone participating in same-sex penetration or sexual stimulation. The current penal code already punishes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” a colonial term that refers to sex between men that sentences the perpetrator for life. The bill would also punish those who “promote homosexuality,” an attack on freedom of speech. Organizations who provide health services for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender could potentially be shut down, and the staff sent to prison for their beliefs.
This bill needs to be immediately rejected by the president of Uganda. A minority group should not be given life sentences for their sexual orientation, nor should this bill affect their privacy or family life. You can help in the bill’s rejection by signing this petition.
Dear President Yoweri Museveni ,
I am writing this letter to express my stance on the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda. The bill gives life sentences to those who engage in consensual sex of the same sex, whether it be penetration or stimulation. Those who promote homosexuality are also punished, violating freedom of speech rights. The United Nations believe that homosexuality should be tolerated by all nations, and I sincerely hope your country follows this ruling.
It is not right to persecute a minority based on their sexual orientation. Your government will be wasting precious resources and time prosecuting people who have not committed any crimes. Your police force should focus on those who rape or murder instead of criminalizing those whose sexual orientation does not fit the norm. President, I urge you to reject this bill and protect the rights of your citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Russell Watkins via Wikimedia