CANADA CONSIDERS REFUGEE STATUS FOR GAY UGANDANS

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Canada may consider offering refugee status to LGBT Ugandans as a group as opposed to individuals on a case-by-case basis.

According to LGBT Asylum News, Pride Uganda Alliance International (PUAI) made a presentation to the Commons subcommittee on international human rights – part of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development – about the plight of LGBT people in Uganda.

The committee members also heard personal accounts on video from two Ugandan witnesses whose identities were not revealed in order to protect them.

“I would suggest that the committee members in general were horrified. Not only did the stories match what has been written about, but they also told about other difficulties that queer Ugandans face,” said subcommittee member Wayne Marston.

PUAI asked the committee to recommend to the Canadian government that LGBT Ugandans be granted group resettlement status. “We’re very favourable to that suggestion,” said committee member and MP Mario Silva.

Additional meetings with PUAI will be held to take the matter further.

A controversial bill that would entrench the criminality of LGBT people and impose the death penalty in certain cases of homosexual conduct is pending in the Ugandan parliament. Existing penalties for gay sex already include life imprisonment.

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