Ugandan homophobes celebrated in the UK


Rebecca Kadaga

Two top anti-LGBTIQ politicians from Uganda have been welcomed with open arms and presented with awards and titles in the UK.

In particular, Uganda’s notoriously homophobic Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has shown that actively campaigning to imprison and persecute LGBTIQ people is no deterrent to being internationally feted.

It’s been reported that Kadaga was last week elected president of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) for the period 2018 to 2019 during its executive meeting in London.

The CPA says it “develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth.” Homosexuality remains illegal in more than 30 of the 53 Commonwealth nations.

Kadaga was not only one of the architects of Uganda’s 2013 Anti-Homosexuality Act but has continued to champion efforts to suppress and persecute LGBTIQ people in her country and internationally.

She recently caused outrage for successfully rallying anti-LGBTIQ countries in a vote to block any discussions on LGBTIQ rights at the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva.

Edwin Sesange, director of the African Equality Foundation, was appalled by the news. “I doubt whether there will ever be any discussion of LGBTIQ issues in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association during Hon Kadaga’s tenure,” he told MambaOnline. “I therefore, appeal to UK government to walk the talk of advancing equality for all including LGBTIQ people in the Commonwealth.”

Kadaga’s election as head of the CPA comes shortly after she received the African Parliamentary Speaker of the Year award from the group Ring4Change at its London summit last month. The event was in collaboration with the London Metropolitan University and was held at Portcullis House, part of the British Parliament estate.

Godson Azu, the Summit director told Gay Star News at the time that, Kadaga’s homophobia had nothing to do with the award and she was honoured because “she is a remarkable woman parliamentarian and her record to improve the situation in Uganda is very good.”

“The award to Hon Kadaga in the British Parliament was a big setback in the struggle for LGBTIQ equality,” said Sesange. “The award bodies and the British parliament should be ashamed of themselves.”

Over the weekend, the Times in the UK also reported that fellow homophobic Ugandan MP, Jovah Kamateeka, was invited to No 10 Downing Street in London on Wednesday. She was one of a number of MPs welcomed by Prime Minister Theresa May for a reception for the Women MPs of the World conference.

Like Kadaga, Kamateeka was a leading supporter of the legislation to jail LGBTIQ people for life. In April she again affirmed her support for the Anti-Homosexuality Act. “We should say no to bad practices and we should say no to practices and values that are not Ugandan and practices and values that are not African,” she said.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act was passed by Uganda’s Parliament in 2013 but was later annulled by the country’s Constitutional Court over a technicality. Kamateeka has stated that, “That Bill should come back and we pass it because we must stand firm for who we are.”

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