Life imprisonment is the minimum punishment for anyone convicted of having gay sex, under an anti-homosexuality bill currently before Uganda's parliament. If the accused person is HIV positive or a serial offender, or a "person of authority" over the other partner, or if the "victim" is under 18, a conviction will result in the death penalty.
Members of the public are obliged to report any homosexual activity to police with 24 hours or risk up to three years in jail – a scenario that human rights campaigners say will result in a witchhunt. Ugandans breaking the new law abroad will be subject to extradition requests.
Ruth Gledhill has just posted in The Times
This gay blogger from Uganda's post today is just heart rending.
This is a former colony, with a UK system (sort of), and homosexuality
there is illegal to begin with because of our imperial legacy.
What can we do?
We need to pressure Uganda's government.
One Third of Uganda's budget comes from foreign aid. This may change in the future, but it is the case now and will be for a a number of years. Meanwhile oil companies are beginning to locate and exploit oil there.
The UK gay movement needs to gear up for this now.
But in Britain we should all be able to unite in protest on this. Labour, Liberal Demoocrat, Tory, SNP, PC, UKIP - all officially oppose this kind of hatred.
LabourList is the most public forum I, at least, can access.
This issue must come into focus now, and the UK must act.
Oil does not come online that quickly. And 2011 is a over a year away.
We can work on this.
Some of us are limited by location, but here is what I posted for the local LGBT action group in the NW of England:
****Any one think we could organized a demonstration about the effort to impose the death penalty in Uganda ion Manchester. The entire aim would be to make the news, locally and in Uganda, to oppose this measure.
Targets are somewhat rare in tne NW of England, but Manchster Grammar School has an outreach to Uganda [ http://www.mgs.org/view_page.asp?link_page_id=463 ]
I think t is important to establish that we do not oppose aid to Uganda (a truly poor country), but help in this becoming a world wide embarrassment.***
UK and commonwealth groups can embarrass donors; Plus we can demo outside the Commonwealth offices.
Others can locate oil company offices.
The aim is to create a media storm.
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