Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Death Penalty for citizens who repeatedly “practice homosexuality”!

I've talked about David Kato here before, and its time again to revisit his story. He was killed in Uganda for being gay after a 'name and shame' campaign by local papers, which is so disturbing I'm lost for words. But the Ugandan Parliament is still trying to pass laws that could see gays and lesbians being hung for being born this way. So while I sit here in the eastern suburbs of Sydney leading what can only be described as a 'flamboyantly gay' lifestyle, it breaks my heart that I have it so good while other men and women face the threat of death for loving who they love. Please take a minute to read this letter from the Avaaz Organisation and sign their petition. A small way to make a difference....


Hanged for being gay – two days to act!

Dear friends,


David Kato, murdered Ugandan gay rights activist
In two days, the Ugandan Parliament could pass a brutal hate law that would impose the death penalty on citizens who repeatedly “practice homosexuality.” If we can keep this law from reaching a vote this week, it will die when Parliament closes on May 12th. Click below to sign the petition, then forward to everyone:
In two days, Uganda could legalize the murder of gays and lesbians. Parliament is on the verge of passing a brutal hate law that would impose the death penalty on citizens who repeatedly “practice homosexuality.”

Last year, a massive outcry of citizens from around the world helped shelve this same bill. But, political unrest is mounting in Uganda, and religious extremists in Parliament are hoping the confusion and violence will distract the international community from a second effort to pass a bill legalizing the murder of gay Ugandans. If we can keep this hate-filled law from reaching a vote this week, it will die when Parliament closes on May 12th and all current bills are scrapped.

Frank Mugisha, a close friend and gay rights activist in Uganda, wrote to us today, "If this bill passes there is going to be more harassment, and more bashing and violence in the streets. This anti-gay bill will turn Uganda into a police state where we can't speak out, can't express ourselves, and we won't even be able to live here without being thrown in jail or hanged. Please help". With only 2 days to go until the closing of Parliament, we don’t have a moment to lose. Let’s build a huge petition to stop the gay death penalty and protect Frank and his community from a brutal government crackdown -- click here to take action, then forward this email widely:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_stop_homophobia_petition/?vl

For Frank and thousands of others, being gay in Uganda is already dangerous and terrifying. They are regularly harassed and beaten, and just months ago, Avaaz colleague and gay rights activist, David Kato (pictured above), was brutally murdered in his own home. Now LGBT Ugandans are threatened by this draconian law which imposes life imprisonment for people convicted of same-sex relations and the death penalty for “serial offenders”. Even NGOs working to prevent the spread of HIV can be imprisoned for “promoting homosexuality” under this hate-filled law.

Proponents of the bill claim that it defends national culture, but this culture of intolerance did not happen by accident. In the last decade, powerful religious figures, backed by US radical religious groups have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to instill homophobia in Ugandan communities, and drive abroad messages of fear, hate and violence.

These extremists preach a message of hate which is a far from the the christian values many Ugandans are taught and that are enshrined in the country’s constitution which guarantees freedom of expression, thought, and a right to life. In the next 48 hours, let’s build a massive international outcry in support of respect for human rights, justice and tolerance. Together we can save lives by stopping this bill -- sign now here, then tell friends and family:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_stop_homophobia_petition/?vl

Earlier this year, we stood in solidarity with Uganda's equality movement to show that all life, no matter creed, nationality or sexual orientation, is equally precious. Together, we shelved this hate-filled bill the first time it was presented to Parliament. Then, when a tabloid newspaper published 100 names, pictures and addresses, of suspected gays and those identified were threatened, Avaaz supported a legal case against the paper and we won! We proved that, when hundreds of thousands of us come together in solidarity and with purpose, we have the power to change the world for the better. Let’s renew our commitment to the fight for equality in Uganda, and prevent any further bloodshed:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_stop_homophobia_petition/?vl

With hope and determination,

Emma, Iain, Alice, Morgan, Brianna and the rest of the Avaaz team


SOURCES:

Ugandan lawmakers hold hearings on anti-gay bill
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article

Uganda gay activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera hailed
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13278374

Pulling Out All the Stops to Push an Antigay Bill
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/world/africa/14uganda.html


Note from St. Murphy: After much talking-up of 'Fashion Spread' I promise it will be tomorrow's post. With only two days to go before Ugandan Parliament shuts down the work of Avaaz

1 comment:

Glowless @ Where's My Glow said...

I have no words for how barbaric this is. Will help spread the word.

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