Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hopeful News from Uganda on Gay Death Penalty Bill

     Jon Tollefson, a State Department spokesperson, told DC Agenda that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has pledged on several occasions to the top U.S. diplomat engaged in Africa that he would stop progress on the anti-gay bill.
     Bill No. 18 was born out of March conference lead by the U.S. religious right, who believe homosexuality is "curable."  If the bill passes, Ugandan homosexuals will get life in prison, and "repeat offenders" of homosexual acts and HIV-positive homosexuals will be put to death. 

     Thank you to the U.S. politicians and civil rights agencies that spoke out against this bill and pressured the Ugandan president. That said, Museveni has still not publicly spoken out against the bill, his opposition being expressed only in private.
      Tollefson also detailed work the State Department has done to help block the legislation from going forward and said [Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs] Carson has made clear to Museveni that — in addition to rejecting the measure — the United States expects full decriminalization of homosexuality in Uganda.
     “He made very clear that we will not accept simply the removal of the death penalty or some of the harsher aspects of the law,” Tollefson said. “We expect full decriminalization of sexual acts between adults. There’s no hedging on that.”
     Thank you Assistant Secretary Carson!  Now let's get to work on the many other nations that still outlaw homosexuality.

     If anyone has news of Rwanda's Article 217 and whether it's been voted on, please comment with links.  I haven't been able to find any news of the vote that was supposedly going to take place last week.  Thanks.

     Here's Rachel Maddow's most recent report on the Ugandan bill:


gayuganda said...

On Rwanda, the link to the gayuganda blog article is to something that the Justice Minister said.

Good news, all around.

Here is the link

Heretic Tom said...

Thank you for the link, gayuganda. That is good news in Rwanda.

All the best to you.

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