UGANDA TO BAN GAY GROUPS
Wed, 20 June 2012Uganda continues its assault on human rights and the gay community by planning to ban 38 activist groups that it claims are "promoting homosexuality" and "recruiting" children into homosexuality.
Simon Lokodo, the country's ironically titled "ethics and integrity minister," is once again leading the charge, according to a number of reports.
"I have established beyond reasonable doubt that the 38 NGOs, if not even more, exist not for humanitarian reasons but to destroy the traditions and culture of this country by promoting homosexuality," he was quoted by the Guardian as saying on Wednesday.
"We found that, on the pretext of humanitarian concerns, these organisations are being used to promote negative cultures. They are encouraging homosexuality as if it is the best form of sexual behaviour.
"The NGOs are channels through which monies are channelled to (homosexuals) to recruit," Lokodo, who is a former catholic priest, told Reuters.
According to AFP, he said that he would submit the organisations’ names to the internal affairs ministry which would then deregister them.
"We will tell them to stop operating and they will not have the legal right to practice here," Lokodo said, adding "The sooner we can do this the better".
The news comes just days after police raided and shut down a workshop attended by LGBT activists in Kampala. A number of the participants were arrested but were later released without being charged.
In February, Lokodo, accompanied by a police escort, personally closed down another gay rights workshop in Entebbe. He threatened to arrest organiser Kasha Jacqueline Nabagasera, a prominent LGBT rights activist, after she challenged his order to disband the meeting.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda. The country's parliament is currently considering the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which will further criminalise homosexuality and may introduce the death sentence as a possible penalty.