Saturday, May 14, 2011

Uncertain Outcome of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill Heightens Anxiety

Posted By on Sat, May 14, 2011 at 12:58 PM

In an unexpected development, the Ugandan Eighth Parliament adjourned Friday without the hotly anticipated vote on an anti-homosexuality bill. Bills that are not passed at the close of the session automatically die and must be re-introduced into the next session if they are to proceed.

Ugandan activist, Peter Yiga told Citydesk he believes, “The bill will definitely come back since all those guys advocating for it will still be in Parliament.”

LGBTI Ugandans are still using all means necessary to stop the bill,” said a Uganda physician, who asked not to be identified to protect his safety. The physician, who is a caregiver for Ugandan HIV/AIDS patients, said by not completely denouncing the measure, proponents still “fuel discrimination and stigma by the state.”

The bill has had a circuitous two-year route, evolving from a March 2009 seminar in Kampala led by American Evangelical Pastor Scott Lively, a colleague of Bryan Fisher, former director of the Idaho Values Alliance.

“The [Ugandan] public is very bitter,” said Yiga. “People have resorted to beating and insulting us, telling us to migrate to the USA where homosexuality originated.”

"This week I have witnessed three transgender people forced to move from their homes in Kasubi, Namuwongo and Kyebando,” said the Ugandan physician. "There is a dwindling number of LGBQI Ugandans who call for counseling for diseases. The few calls that do come in are of distress and fear."

Activists said they are doing a better job at mobilizing but still advocate for international pressure to continue.

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