Protect the Fundamental Human Rights of All Ugandans
TransAfrica adds its voice to amplify the outrage of Ugandan and international human rights defenders in response to the most recent attack on the rights of LGBT people in Africa. We demand that President Yoweri Museveni reject the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) passed by Uganda’s Parliament in December 2013. The AHB is widely recognized as hate legislation that would strip lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Ugandans of their fundamental human rights. Despite his initial refusal, President Museveni said on Friday, February 14, that he would sign the bill which would criminalize “the promotion or recognition” of homosexual relationships.
Nicole C. Lee, president of TransAfrica, stated:
"We join our partner, human rights leader Frank Mugisha, and his organization Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) in condemning the attacks on our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in Uganda by an extreme fundamentalist minority. We demand that President Museveni refuse to sign the unconstitutional and hate-filled Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed by the Parliament at the end of last year. The AHB criminalizes an already vulnerable population and feeds irrational hatred and violence towards LGBT people in Uganda."
The forty-member Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRCL) in Kampala, Uganda, called on President Museveni to consider the health consequences of the AHB, as well as the violation of human rights: “Uganda has long been a trail-blazer in the fight against the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The AHB will greatly hinder these efforts .If the President assents to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and it becomes operationalized, efforts to reach these populations may become illegal and implementers of public health strategies could be liable to criminal charges—alongside the people intended to benefit from these programs. This endangers the Ugandan population as a whole.”
The Kuchu Diaspora Alliance wrote an open letter to President Museveni, calling for him to create meaningful dialogue and lead Uganda with a position based on “informed research rather than irrational reaction.” In the letter they noted: “Although the death penalty clause was eliminated from the bill, we believe that criminalizing innocent Ugandans and silencing those who address human rights violations will lead to escalated violence, discrimination, and blackmail against members of our community. If made law, the bill—as with all legislation that is not based on informed research—could be used as weaponry against heterosexual Ugandans who differ in belief and opinion. The effects of signing a bill that threatens the lives of innocent citizens may be impossible to reverse.”
The bill will also have far reaching effects on human rights defenders in Uganda as a whole. As the National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders of Uganda (NCHRDU) explained, “The Bill violates the rights of sexual minorities and defenders working to create an enabling environment for Human Rights Defenders to continue doing their work of promoting and protecting human rights.”
TransAfrica joins Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) in calling on “the President of the Republic of Uganda H.E Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni not to sign this bill into law so as to prevent its dire effects on human rights work and HIV/AIDS progress in Uganda.”
Take Action Now to stop Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill
TransAfrica Joins Partners in Uganda and Internationally in Demanding that Uganda President Museveni Reject Hate Legislation
Ugandan civil society and our partners at SMUG are asking that Americans call on our government to bring the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda back to the U.S. for consultation. This temporary recall will send a strong message to President Museveni.
You can help by making a call today! Please call Secretary Kerry's chief of staff's office at: 202-647-5548.
Here is a call in-script to use:
Hello, my name is ---------------------- and I am calling to urge Secretary Kerry to take immediate action on Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and recall the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Scott DeLisi. The Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law has requested the recalling of U.S., European and other Ambassadors, for urgent consultations about the way forward for human rights in Uganda as well as in Nigeria, where a similar bill was signed into law by the President. I stand with Ugandan Civil Society concerned about the safety of their LGBTQ citizens, and strongly urge Secretary Kerry to recall U.S. Ambassador Scott DeLisi immediately.
(Thank you to our partners at Health Gap for creating this call to action!)
For respect of all people's basic rights,
Nicole Lee, President