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Magda Hassan
02-09-2010, 08:49 AM
Dear friends,

Uganda's government is considering a law that makes being gay punishable by prison or death. Brave Ugandan citizens are appealing to us for help to stop this persecution:

(http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?cl=471968593&v=5361)
http://avaazimages.s3.amazonaws.com/sign_english_blue.png

(http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?cl=471968593&v=5361)http://avaazimages.s3.amazonaws.com/uganda_email.jpg (http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance?cl=471968593&v=5361)
Ugandan Avaaz member Frank must hide his face.
I could be facing violence, prison and even death for who I am. Across Uganda people are bravely speaking out, but this law will put us in serious danger. Please, sign the Avaaz petition and tell others to stand with us -- if there's a huge global response, our government will see that Uganda will be internationally isolated by this proposed law, and strike it down.

This is an urgent appeal to all of us, sent by Frank, a gay Ugandan Avaaz member.

Widespread condemnation has led Uganda's Parliament to review the proposed legislation -- a law that would make being gay punishable by prison, even death.

Our actions now could save Frank's life, and many others. Click below to sign the petition and send it on to friends:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?vl (http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?cl=471968593&v=5361)

The bill proposes life imprisonment for anyone convicted of having same-sex relations, or even intending to do so. It imposes the death penalty for 'serial offender' homosexuals and gay people living with AIDS.

Members of the public face up to three years in jail if they fail to report any homosexual activity to police within 24 hours. And NGOs working with the gay community on HIV prevention or human rights could be imprisoned for up to 7 years for 'promoting homosexuality'.

The bill's advocates claim that it defends Uganda's culture. But its strongest critics come from within Uganda.

The Dean of Law at Makerere University argues that the bill undermines family life and violates Uganda's Constitution. The Archbishop of York, born in Uganda, has condemned the bill as 'victimising,' and the Reverend Canon Gideon Byamugisha -- a Ugandan Anglican priest -- has written to Avaaz saying:

This bill is not about protecting Ugandan culture and traditions. On the contrary it is violating our cultures, traditions and religious values that teach against intolerance, injustice, hatred and violence. We need laws to protect people, not ones that will humiliate, ridicule, persecute and kill them en masse. Thank you for Avaaz's campaigning for safer, healthier, more peaceful, and more productive lives for ALL Ugandans.

Click below to sign the petition, and pass this message on to friends and family. Across Africa and the world, let's send a united message that we reject persecution and denial of human rights everywhere:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?vl (http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?cl=471968593&v=5361)

In Uganda, a group of ultra-conservative religious extremists have built a highly vocal, well-organised and funded PR effort supporting this bill. But a new alliance of Church leaders, health services, gay groups, and human rights lawyers are mobilising to respond, and they say our support is crucial.

In the last three years, five African countries have criminalised gay people. By rejecting this dangerous law, and demonstrating the breadth of opposition to it, we can help set a crucial precedent. Let's stand with Uganda's Frank and Canon Byamugisha and oppose this bill:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?vl (http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?cl=471968593&v=5361)

With hope and determination,

Alice, Ricken, Ben, Paul, Benjamin, Pascal, Raluca, Graziela and the whole Avaaz team

PS: Although people around the world hold many views about issues relating to sexuality and gay rights, we are united in opposing this threatened mass violation of basic rights. In a poll of the Avaaz community, 90% of members urged Avaaz to launch this campaign (only 3.8% opposed it), including 89.4% support in Africa and 91.9% support in Latin America.

Our strength is in our numbers -- please forward this email to anyone who might want to join:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?vl (http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_for_tolerance_2/?cl=471968593&v=5361)

SOURCES

African letter to Ugandan President to throw out Anti-homosexual bill: Uganda -- Anti-homosexuality bill violates human rights:
http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=22761

Ugandan church leader brands anti-gay bill 'genocide':
http://www.guardian.co.uk/katine/2009/dec/04/gideon-byamugisha-homosexuality-bill

Uganda's Anti-Homosexual bill:
http://wthrockmorton.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/anti-homosexuality-bill-2009.pdf

Uganda anti-gay bill may change, says MP Bahati:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8472085.stm

The U.S. Christian Right and the Attack on Gays in Africa:
http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v24n4/us-christian-right-attack-on-gays-in-africa.html

Human Rights Impact Assessment of Uganda's Anti-homosexuality Bill By Sylvia Tamale, The Dean of Law at Uganda's Makerere University:
http://www.zeleza.com/blogging/african-affairs/human-rights-impact-assessment-ugandas-anti-homosexuality-bill-sylvia-tamal (http://www.zeleza.com/blogging/african-affairs/human-rights-impact-assessment-ugandas-anti-homosexuality-bill-sylvia-tamal)