Target: President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni
Goal: Stop a new law from jailing gay and lesbian Ugandans for life
In 2011, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda introduced a shocking and appalling ‘Kill The Gays’ bill that would have meant death to anyone suspected of or caught engaging in homosexual acts. After a massive outcry from activists all over the world, the bill was tucked away and Museveni launched an investigation into the inhumane implications of which he was being accused.
Now the Ugandan Parliament has ‘softened’ their homophobia, with the introduction of a new law that would put LGBT Ugandans in prison for life. The passage of the life imprisonment bill has shocked activists everywhere as Museveni had promised, just two years ago, that the ‘Kill The Gays’ bill would be vetoed indefinitely. With this new development, it is clear that the Ugandan government is only out to pacify activists while they draft up sinister ways to negatively impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of LGBT Ugandans.
Not only does the new bill affect the livelihoods of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual Ugandans, it also proposes that those who are found reaching out to help or counsel homosexuals will also receive jail time. This includes civil workers, public health professionals, and community leaders.
To convince people of the law’s ‘fairness’, the lawmakers of the conservative nation claim that the influence of Western lifestyles are destroying Ugandan family units and that the legislation is ‘needed in this country to protect the traditional family here in Africa,’ according to David Bahati, the lawmaker who introduced the ‘Kill The Gays’ bill.
By signing this petition, you’ll urge Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to put an end to this horrifying legislation and speak out in solidarity with LGBT Ugandans.
Dear President Yoweri Museveni,
After promising to veto the ‘Kill The Gays’ bill, it seems your government has found yet another way to terrorize the hundreds of thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people that live and love in Uganda. The brutal and inhumane bill introduced in 2011 secured Uganda’s reputation as an unsafe and uptight nation that will do anything to make the lives of LGBT Ugandans a living hell. With the introduction of this newest bill, you’ve not only targeted gays and lesbians, but those who support the LGBT community as well. This law will have detrimental consequences for civil workers, public health professionals, and community leaders who are required to help and support everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or identification.
The first step towards eradicating prejudice against LGBT community starts with the end of sodomy laws, which are ancient and unjustified. The fact that Uganda feels the need to lock up its LGBT community to carry out an archaic rule is heartbreaking. Uganda’s lack of humanity will also cause considerable backlash against the entire nation, as some European countries have threatened to withdraw aid to Uganda which your citizens, gay or not, desperately need.
I truly hope that you take a definite stand against homophobia and remove this bill from the table.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Stan Honda via NPR