Saturday, 29 June 2013

Africa's Anti-Gay Laws

Image from Red Room

Huffington Post has written an article: Africa's Anti-Gay Laws: A Look At Uganda, Malawi And More

In December 2011, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum instructing federal agencies to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people overseas. The memorandum coincided with a speech by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Human Rights Council in Geneva declaring that "gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights." Here are some developments concerning anti-gay legislation in Africa since the memorandum was issued.

UGANDA: A bill originally calling for the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" was re-tabled in February 2012. "Aggravated homosexuality" includes engaging in gay sex three times or while HIV-positive. The bill would also punish Ugandans who fail to turn in homosexuals to the authorities. President Obama called the bill "odious" in 2010. Its author has since said the death penalty provision has been removed.

However, they really shouldn't be quoting Bahati on the death penalty provision. He might have said that but, at the last look, the bill itself wasn't amended. They cite Amnesty International as their source for this article, but in Amnesty's most recent report on the matter, they state: "The Bill, if passed, would impose the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’, and would impose life imprisonment for the ‘offence of homosexuality’."  It is absolutely clear that the death penalty still stands.

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