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European Parliament Firmly Denounces Ugandan ‘Anti-Gay’ Bill

Bill is “uncivilised and unacceptable” – Cashman

 

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STRASBURG, December 17, 2009    The European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, today adopted a resolution strongly condemning the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009 , a Private Members Bill, said to have the support of the Government, tabled by David Bahati MP in the Ugandan Parliament.

Joining widespread international outcry from the British, French and Swedish governments as well as the White House, the European Parliament officially calls on Ugandan authorities “not to approve the bill and to review their laws to decriminalize homosexuality”.

The resolution reminds the Ugandan government of its legally-binding obligations under international treaties, including the ‘Cotonou Agreement’, as well as its inability to withdraw from ratified international human rights treaties.  The text of the resolution approved by MEPs also calls on the European Commission and Council to reconsider European aid to Uganda should the text pass in the Parliament.

Currently, the European Union gives Uganda $275(USD) annually – 16.6% of Uganda’s total official development aid.

Michael Cashman MEP, co-president of the European Parliament’s all-party ‘Intergroup’ on LGBT Rights, praised the move.

“The European Parliament is committed to promoting democracy and the human rights of all citizens in the countries it works with,” he said.  “Uganda is about to dishonour its moral leadership and its people by going against universally-agreed human rights.

“The Ugandan government must ask David Bahati MP to withdraw the draft bill that will kill, imprison and fine Ugandans, simply for being who they are.  This bill is uncivilised and unacceptable to all decent people,” added Mr. Cashman who recently returned from a diplomatic mission in Angola and Botswana.

Ulrike Lunacek, another co-president of the Intergroup pointed out that homosexuality has always existed and will always exist in Africa –as everywhere else.

“Homosexuality is nothing un-African, as some African leaders wrongly claim.  That is why lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people need protection and acceptance, not hate legislation.”

In the plenary debate, the European Commission also expressed their “deep concern” regarding recent developments in Uganda.

Anglican, Catholic and Evangelist representatives have also recently spoke out against the bill in Uganda, and the criminalisation of homosexuality in general.

Two weeks ago, National Public Radio in the USA revealed that Mr. Bahati was a member of the ultra-right group “The Family”, which is based in Washington.  This secretive group has among its members a number of evangelical Christians from both major US political parties who are members of the US Congress. 

[The Secret Political Reach Of 'The Family'.  Fresh Air host Terry Gross talks with Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, a secretive Washington DC fellowship of powerful anti-gay, anti-abortion Christian politicians who, the author claims, is connected to proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda that could sentence,repeat offenders to the death penalty.   Full transcript.  Audio (38 minutes) - the Uganda reference comes at about 20 minutes.]

The connection with “The Family” and the Ugandan Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009 was subsequently highlighted on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.  

SEE ALSO

Outraged US Senator Blasts Uganda Over Anti-Gay Bill - Vatican Tells UN it Condemns Violation of Gay Rights.   A leading United States Senator today expressed his “outrage” at the the Ugandan ‘private member’s bill, The Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009, which is due to be discussed in Parliament, while, in an unexpected statement at the United Nations in New York yesterday, the Vatican said itcondemned the violations of human rights of gays and trensgender people.  (UK Gay News, December 11, 2009)


Protesters in London Urge Uganda to Drop the ‘Anti-Gay’ Bill. Nearly 100 protesters rallied outside the Ugandan High Commission yesterday – Human Rights Day– to support the Ugandan LBGTI community.   They called on the Ugandan government to drop its draconian Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009, which is about to be debated by the Ugandan parliament.  (UK Gay News, December 11, 2009)

 

The European Union Speaks Out Against the Ugandan Anti Homosexuality Bill.   The infamous Ugandan Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009 was vehemently denounced yesterday in Luanda, Angola, by EU representatives during the 18th session of the ACP (African-Caribbean-Pacific)/EU (European Union) Joint Parliamentary Assembly.  (UK Gay News, December 1, 2009)

 

Equal Rights Trust Urges Commonwealth Heads of Government to Condemn Homophobic Laws. In advance of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Trinidad this weekend, the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has called on the Heads of Government to condemn an Anti-Homosexuality Bill recently introduced in the Parliament of Uganda and to take urgent action to repeal existing homophobic laws across the Commonwealth.   (UK Gay News, November 27, 2009)

 

We Must Rally Against Uganda Anti-Gay Bill – Ugandan Activist.  Commentary by Michael Senyonjo.   Ugandans and the world must rally against the anti-gay bill [the Anti Homosexuality Bill (2009)], or ‘Bahati Bill’ as is known in Uganda, because the proposed legislation is illegal, drafted in bad faith, too radical and in any case not needed in Uganda.  (UK Gay News, November 23, 2009)

 

 

 

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Posted: 17 Dec 2009 at 16:00 (UK time)

   
             
       

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