David Bahati, author of the anti-gay bill.

A human rights group has delivered an online petition, signed by over 450,000 people, against Uganda’s anti-gay bill to the country’s parliament on Monday.

Organised by, an international civic organisation that promotes activism on issues such as climate change and human rights, the petition is addressed to “President Museveni of Uganda, members of the review committee, and donor governments”.

It reads: “We stand with citizens across Uganda who are calling on their government to withdraw the Anti-Homosexual Bill, and to protect the universal human rights embodied in the Ugandan constitution. We urge Uganda’s leaders and donors to join us in rejecting persecution and upholding values of justice and tolerance.”

The majority of signatures were collected outside Uganda, a fact which some say will limit its impact among parliamentarians and the government.

Avaaz is hoping that the petition, which can be found here, will eventually reach a total of one million signatures.

The Anti-Homosexual Bill would impose the death penalty in certain cases of people believed to have had gay sex and would further widen the scope of prison sentences and other penalties against anyone who is seen to be “promoting homosexuality”.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of the Scout Association of the UK, Derek Twine, also expressed his opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which was drafted and tabled by MP David Bahati; the Chairman of the Scout Association of Uganda.

Describing the legislation as “discriminatory and contrary to the sanctity of life” Twine said in a statement that it was also “completely incompatible with our interpretation of the values of our worldwide Scouting Movement.”

His statement follows calls by the London-based LGBT human rights organisation, OutRage!, for the UK and international scout movements to take a stand on the matter.

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