Tuesday, 26 February 2013


We've been a little quiet recently simply because there hasn't been a lot to report. The Ugandan parliament only sits Tuesday-Thursday, which makes for slow progress.

It's currently sitting at #2 on the order of Business to Follow, but it keeps ricocheting up and down the list. In the SMUG forum this has led to speculation that:

They just make up the numbers as they go along. Keeps people guessing.

They commonly use the AHB as distraction so if something going on needs attention diverted like say corruption, stealing oil profits, etc. the AHB might rise to the top, if not needed it might drop. It's a cruel game for the queer community to suffer.

Be assured, we will post the moment something significant happens.

Meanwhile, over the past few weeks, both the UK and France have motioned to allow gay marriage. Lovely news. One of the SMUG board members posted this video today. It's a heartwarming testament to the equality of same sex marriages. Bit of feelgood in the midst of everything that's going on.

If you'd like to stay updated on other issues affecting LGBT people in Africa, there's a new Facebook group called Stop the Gay Genocide in Africa.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bill Moves to #1 on Agenda

Breaking news from Geho Uganda:

The kill gay bill has moved up to No.1 on the order of business to follow, up from No.3 last week.
This simply means that the bill is likely to be tabled tomorrow or in essence this week. In our estimation, it is possible that parliament intends to table this bill and finalize it before they start the budget process.
You can find the current Order of Business here.
If you would like to show your support against the bill, you can turn your Facebook profile image to the T-shirt above.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Asylum Issues

Really important documentary, worth knowing about. Mentioned in the SMUG forum by Bisi Alimi:

The Seeking Asylum series, a story of African LGBT asylum seekers in the UK has been nominated for the American PBC (Public Broadcasting Federation) film festival. I was one of the people featured in the film. We are reaching out to you to please: Watch the film. Share the film and Like None on Record on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter. Thank you.

We would like to congratulate None on Record for their nomination. It brings to light a large pan-African asylum issue. We recently highlighted the case of Lawrence Kaala in Sweden. There was also the case of Uganda, Asuman Kabugo, who feared torture if deported from the UK last November. These and a number of similar cases, such as that of Linda Nakibuuka, have led to cries of condemnation against the UK Asylum system:


When it comes to LGBT Asylum and support against the Anti-homosexuality Bill, the UK is all talk and no real action.  While the United Kingdom’s government  purports to support LGBT asylees, in truth they fail them, certainly when it comes to the Home Office and the consideration that ought to be given to asyless from all over the world, especially Africa and more especially, Uganda.

This does appear to be turning into a national headache, not only for the UK but all countries that accept asylum seekers persecuted on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

Given the chance, the Ugandan government would probably be quite happy to see all of its LGBT citizens living in another country. If countries with legislation protecting human rights don't want to accept the responsibility of protecting them, then they need to intervene against the Bahati bill. It is only once the bill is off the table that asylum cases will drop.

It can only be the tip of the iceberg. Should the Bahati bill pass in the next few weeks, there will be a much larger wave of asylum applications and even stronger rebuke for turning them down.

[UPDATE, April 2013: EU Facing Massive 'Gay Claims' By Africans. "In Belgium, the number of applications from “homosexual” Africans has jumped seven-fold [since] 2011." Looks like, for the time being, the approach is to call everyone liars and deport as many as possible. Long-term, Western countries may just have to put their foot down over gay persecution and work hard to oppose governments that practice it.]

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Business to Follow

The Anti Homosexuality Bill (2009) is currently sitting at #7 on the list of Business to Follow.

It appears to be delayed as today is taken up with the government working out who to approach for money:

I) Request to borrow US $34,050,000 from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) financing enhanced national food security through increased rice production project.

II) Request to borrow US $12,000,000 from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and another US $15,000,000 from the Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) to finance the Masaka – Bukakata road project.

III) Request to borrow up to US $9.75 million from the Islamic Development (IDB) to support the scaling up and replication of Millenium Villages Project (MVP) in Uganda.

All of this whilst Keith Muhakanizi, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, is explaining how the Kill the Gays Bill is damaging Uganda's economy:

“I have never seen a country like this where politicians hurt the economy instead of building it.”

Any bank would be rather foolish to invest in a country that is deliberately damaging its own economy to pursue a bill which flies in the face of human rights.

We urge you to point this out to both the Islamic Development Bank, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, and OPEC Fund for International Development. Even if they don't agree on human rights grounds, they should at least have enough economic sense to show concern. Not least the level of corruption occurring in Uganda.

Islamic Development Bank: It appears that their Contact Form is broken. Try: info@isdb.org

Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa: badea@badea.org

OPEC Fund for International Development: info@ofid.org

David Cecil Deported

We reported the other day that David Cecil was being held for deportation despite all charges against him being dropped.

Today he has been deported, separated from his partner and children in Uganda.

Uganda has deported David Cecil for producing and staging a play in August 2012, featuring a gay businessman who is killed by his own employees, a UK embassy spokesman has said...

David Cecil was arrested last September for ‘disobeying lawful orders’ as the play was performed without ‘authorisation’. The charges were subsequently dropped.

Falling prey to both Uganda's oppressive censorship laws and open homophobia.

We salute David's bravery in challenging the status quo on this matter, taking a stand on both the freedom of the Arts and human rights. Welcome back to the UK, we hope yourself and your family receive all the support you need.

We are particularly concerned for the safety of his partner and their children now that David is no longer in the country.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Canada Cuts Evangelical Funding

Julian Fantino
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

We've highlighted several times the Evangelical involvement in supporting discrimination against gay people in Uganda.

Unlike American President Obama, last seen cosying up to the Christian Family, Canada is taking a tougher line:

The Canadian government has stopped funding to Crossroads, an Evangelical charity working in Uganda, for being homophobic.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation the charity that describes homosexuality as a ‘perversion’ and a ‘sin’ will receive no further funding until officials will investigate the organization...

CIDA has given $544,813 to Crossroads to ‘help dig wells, build latrines and promote hygiene awareness in Uganda’.

Until Tuesday, the organization's website carried a list of ‘sexual sins’ deemed to be ‘perversion’...

We're not entirely sure how such a vehemently anti-gay organisation came to receive funding in the first place. Surely you could get all the same benefits without the hatred by supporting someone like WaterAid?

Still, it's a progressive sign to see that governments are starting to look at what their (and, by proxy, your) money is funding.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Sweden Honours Ugandan LGBT Movement

The honorary award of the Swedish Gay Gala this year went to the Ugandan LGBT movement.

Lawrence Kaala and Jimmy Sserwadda, a Ugandan couple married in Sweden, received a standing ovation when they went up to receive the award.

The awards were in Swedish but, if you go to 5:00 in the video below, you can listen to their speech in English. 

  There is also a follow-up speech by Kasha:

At present, Lawrence Kaala is in danger of deportation under Sweden's asylum laws:

Two Ugandan men living in Sweden, who claim they are the first gay couple from their country to get married, may be separated once again after a lucky reunion following a decision by the Swedish Migration Board.

You can write to the Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt, to appeal against this decision at: fredrik.reinfeldt@gov.se

[Update: Lawrence Kaala gained his Swedish citizenship papers on 28th February.]

Friday, 8 February 2013

The US President's Family

Are you a gay American who voted for Obama? 

Starting to feel a little duped?

You have good cause.  

A while back we mentioned The Family. Despite how it sounds, it's actually a Christian organisation, rather than the Mafia.

This week, the President, after a very long silence on the Ugandan Kill the Gays bill, decided to cosy up to The Family:

Obama has breakfast with alleged Kill The Gays backers

Barack Obama delivers religious speech at prayer breakfast. Event sponsored by alleged US backers of Uganda's anti-gay bill. Obama failed to mention or condemn the bill.

If you'd like to write to Obama and call for him to speak out against the bill in Uganda, you can tweet: @BarackObama or correspond with The White House.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

David Cecil Held for Deportation

Picture from this article.

David Cecil is a British theatre producer who was detained in Uganda for producing a play with gay characters. The arrest was issued after he refused to let members of the Media Council review the play.

We reported back in early January that he had been released from prison, with the charges against him dropped.

However, despite having these charges dropped, he has now been detained for deportation. According to GayStarNews:

Ugandan authorities have detained and plan to deport British gay play producer David Cecil back to the UK.

Taken away from his Ugandan wife and young child, Cecil is hoping to appeal against the court's decision,  according to a local news source.

It is unknown whether he will have to appeal from the UK or from Uganda.

So much for promoting family values, eh? Separating a father from his partner and children.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Parliament Returns

We've been a little quiet recently whilst Parliament has been in recess. 

A few things have happened in the interim. Scott Lively, the American hate preacher, caused a stir and is now accusing the Oxford Union of not playing fair. Diddums.

We remembered David Kato, Ugandan human rights campaigner, on the second anniversary of his murder.

And the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury asserted that killing gay people is not good for the economy.

Parliament returns from its Christmas break today to handle a clogged legislative program, thus drawing curtains on a recess that has been marked by political battle of wills between the executive and legislature over a botched attempt by some legislators to recall the House...

Among the pending pieces of legislation include the Public Order Management Bill, the Marriage and Divorce Bill, the Anti-Pornography Bill, the Anti-Money laundering Bill and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009.

It's way down the list. #8 under Business to Follow, so it's unlikely to get discussed any time soon, but we'll keep you updated.

[UPDATE 7th Feb: Now raised to #6 in the order of business.]