Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Recess of Parliament

News came last week that the Ugandan Parliament had downgraded the anti-gay bill from next on the list for discussion, to sixth:

[The] coalition noted:  “Unconfirmed reports indicate that Parliament may go into recess on Friday 14th December 2012.” In previous years, the parliament has repeatedly wrapped up its business without acting on the bill.

Parliament has indeed gone into recess.

One SMUG member posted on Saturday 15th December:

BREAKING: Uganda's Parliament just closed without voting on the "Kill the Gays" bill. Your pressure built to an unstoppable force and Uganda's politicians dropped the bill way down the agenda. Thank you. But they'll be back in just a month, and their first order of business could be passing the bill.

The problem with this is that not debating the bill is not good enough.

Uganda’s president has said gay people should not be killed or persecuted as the country’s parliament runs out of time to pass the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill for this year. (article)

The reason he has had to say this is because awful things happen to LGBT people whilst the bill is shelved.

Whilst the bill was shelved earlier this year:

Gay Ugandans flee fearing for their lives
"The large mob of men and women smashed my car, broke into the house and started beating me," he said.

The police shot in the air to disperse the crowd, he said, but when he went to record a statement he was locked up.

"The police officer told the people in the cell that I loved men and when I was put in there I was beaten and abused - sexually abused."

Paul said he was bleeding profusely and he was only released because the inmates feared he was dying and alerted the officers.

Shelving the bill is no better than turning a blind eye to persecution.

It is not good enough to ignore the legislation, the government must legislate in favour of all human rights, including equal human rights for LGBT people.

Here at the Kill the Bill blog, we're going to be posting a bit less regularly until Parliament is back in session. We hope this gives you time to read back through the story so far, and take action.

Thanks for reading!

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