118 British MPs have condemned Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. They have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the UK Parliament, urging the scrapping of the proposed legislation, which is before Uganda’s parliament.
The EDM, drafted by east London Labour MP Harry Cohen and gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, urges the Ugandan government to “uphold international humanitarian law by abandoning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, decriminalising same-sex acts between consenting adults in private, and outlawing discrimination against gay people.”
The MPs said that they are especially appalled that the Bill proposes the death penalty for “serial offenders” (people who commit repeat homosexual acts) and life imprisonment for merely touching or kissing another person of the same-sex with homosexual intent.
“We hope this motion will send a signal from the British parliament to the Ugandan government that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill constitutes an outrageous attack on the human rights of Uganda’s lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens,” said Tatchell of the London-based gay human rights group OutRage!
“Even if the death penalty is dropped, the Bill will remain unacceptable. It will still violate the equality guarantees of international human rights agreements, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
“The scapegoating of gay Ugandans is reminiscent of the way Adolf Hitler scapegoated Jewish people in Germany in the 1930s. Demonising lesbians and gay men is a diversion from the real issues that blight the lives of most Ugandans: poverty, unemployment, low wages, disease, poor sanitation, dirty drinking water and inadequate health and education services,” added Tatchell.
OutRage! said that it is helping coordinate the UK campaign against the Bill, with the support of Ugandans living in Britain.