Uganda’s Speaker Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga

Health4Men has called on the South African government to denounce Uganda’s pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill and to allow the safe passage of Ugandan gay refugees into the country.

The organisation, which provides free sexual healthcare to men who have sex with men (MSM), expressed “grave concern and foreboding” regarding developments in Uganda that are heightening the ongoing persecution of gay people in that country. 

The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, referred to as the ‘Kill the Gays Bill’ in the media, is due for a second reading in Uganda’s parliament, probably before the end of the year.

This is happening within the context of the Speaker of that parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, stating that the bill will definitely be passed and describing it as a “Christmas gift” to Ugandans.

“It is ironic that the bill which allows for the death penalty on the grounds of sexual orientation was initially submitted by a fundamentalist Christian MP who was reportedly influenced by the irrational anti-gay views for a group of American Christian extremists,” said Health4Men in a statement.
“We assert that the bill is blatantly genocidal in that it is aimed at the deliberate and systematic destruction of a minority group on the basis of their sexual identity,” the organisation said.

Health4Men called on the Government of South Africa to denounce the anti-gay developments in Uganda and to “call for a rational human-rights approach in that country regarding people with alternate sexual identities”. 

It also said that the government should “instruct the South African Department of Home Affairs to facilitate the efficient and safe passage of gay-identifying refugees from Uganda into South Africa”.

Since the Anti-Homosexuality Bill’s introduction in 2009, the South African government has been silent on the issue. It added insult to injury by appointing the openly-homophobic journalist Jon Qwelane to the post of its High Commissioner to Uganda in 2010.

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