The Canadian government has described the anti-gay bill before Uganda’s parliament as “vile and hateful.”
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Peter Kent, minister of state for foreign affairs, said that “Our position is that the proposed Uganda law is reprehensible, vile and hateful and it’s appalling that such legislation would be brought to the parliament of a commonwealth democracy.”
Kent said that his government would communicate its stand on the issue at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which is taking place in Trinidad and Tobago this week.
“At the Commonwealth summit, we’ll convey Canada’s position that if that law is in fact passed, Canada would consider it unacceptable and a gross infringement of human rights in Uganda,” he said.
There have been calls for Uganda, which is currently the outgoing chair of the Commonwealth, to be suspended from the organisation should it pass the anti-gay bill.
Meanwhile, the United Reformed Church has become the first major Church in the UK to join the chorus of voices condemning the proposed legislation.
In a statement, the church said: “This draft legislation represents a clear infringement of human rights and is morally repugnant. It also infringes the African principles of ubuntu and we add our voice to the many calling for the immediate withdrawal of this discriminatory Bill.”
South African Churches and the ANC led government have been noticeably silent with regard to the Ugandan bill, which would impose the death penalty in certain cases of convicted homosexual conduct.