No kidding. The Ugandan government is moving to kill homosexuals.
The Ugandan government will put to death gay citizens repeatedly caught having sex and throw into jail those who touch each other in a "gay" way, if a new proposed Bill becomes law.
A new Bill, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, seeks to legislate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people in Uganda. And it wants to pave the way for its harsh treatment of them by nullifying any international treaties, conventions or declarations believed to be contrary to it.
"The Bill is so inhumane … It violates every aspect of a human being. I mean you cannot tell me you will kill me because I’m gay," says Gerald Sentogo, the gay administrator for the organisation Sexual Minorities Uganda.
The death penalty is listed as punishment under an offence called aggravated homosexuality. This part of the Bill states that "repeat offenders" of homosexuality are liable to get the death penalty. The death penalty is also applied in a homosexual relationship if a partner is under 18, or has a disability, or is HIV positive. People accused under the aggravated homosexuality clause will be forced to undergo an HIV test.
Local and international civil society groups operating in the country fear that the Bill, once enacted, would curtail most of the civil rights guaranteed in the Ugandan constitution, and international human rights instruments and protocols.
But Uganda’s ethics and integrity minister sees the uproar surrounding the Bill as a positive sign that Uganda is "providing leadership" to the world. The minister, James Nsaba Buturo, tells IPS he is happy the Bill is causing a lot of debate globally.
"It is with joy we see that everyone is interested in what Uganda is doing, and it is an opportunity for Uganda to provide leadership where it matters most. So we are here to see a piece of legislation that will not only define what the country stands for, but actually provide leadership around the world," he says.
The new Bill will force people in authority to report offences to the police within 24 hours, or they themselves will face fines or up to three years in prison.
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