Friday, January 22, 2010

House Hearing on Anti-Gay Uganda Bill

Yesterday the House of Representatives heard testimony on Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill. The so-called ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ was introduced on October 14, 2009, and would increase the penalty for “same sex sexual acts” to life in prison, limit the distribution of information on HIV through a provision criminalizing the “promotion of homosexuality,” and establish the crime of “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by death for anyone in Uganda who is HIV positive and has consensual same-sex relations. Further, the bill includes a provision that could lead to the imprisonment for up to three years of anyone who fails to report within 24 hours the identities of everyone they know who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, or who supports human rights for people who are, to the government.

The Commission heard testimony from several expert witnesses, including Karl Wycoff, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of State; Julius Kaggwa, Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, Uganda; Cary Alan Johnson, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission; Rev. Kapya Kaoma, Political Research Associates and Christine Lubinski, HIV Medicine Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America. TLHRC Co-Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) and TLHRC Exec.

Bruce Wilson, a renowned expert on the Christian Right has put together a very short documentary called "Transforming Uganda." It's important for people to know that this bill is not an isolated incident and in fact the "transformational" movement is working underground in several cities in America.

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