URGENT CALL TO SUPPORT AFTER THE RECENT PASSAGE OF THE ANTI HOMOSEXUALITY BILL IN UGANDAN PARLIAMENT.
31st JANUARY 2014
On 20th December 2013, Lesbian and Gay Bisexual Transgender Community in Uganda woke up to the grim news that the Anti Homosexuality bill, which had been shelved at the end of 2012 had been passed by Parliament. The bill was passed without Quorum and without Prior mandatory inclusion on the Parliament Order Paper. The bill, if passed into law will be a disaster to the Human Rights of LGBT people, a disaster to public health and the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Recent reports in the Uganda and International Media have indicated that the President will not sign the bill and hence it is generally believed that the bill is no longer a threat.
We would like to reiterate that this bill is still a huge threat and a treasure to the majority of Ugandans and since our leaders are populists’ they will likely bend to the pressure of the ‘Voters’ and with the 2016 elections looming in the horizon, politicians will no doubt do anything to capitalize on opportunities that protect their political interests. The President of Uganda is no exception.
It is also worth to note that the power of ascension process of a bill that is passed by parliament doesn’t lay primarily with the President of Uganda; it is constitutionally provided that within 30days of the bill being sent to the President for ascension, the president Must either sign the bill to become law.
The president may reject to give assent,
Constitution provides that the president shall within 30 days after a bill is presented to him/her either:-
Assent to the bill
Return the bill to parliament with a request that the bill or a particular provision of it be reconsidered by parliament; or
Notify the speaker in writing about the decision
The bill may be reconsidered and then presented for the president’s approval. However it may become law without the president’s assent if he/she returns it to parliament two times. It should have the support of at least two-thirds of all MPs.
Now that you know why, Here is what you can do on the day of action to support the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender Persons as Risk:
1. Worldwide demonstrations. We call upon all partners, friends and allies to organize a worldwide demonstration in different cities around the world on the (10th February 2014) to show solidarity with Ugandan LGBT community and to bring attention this cause to Uganda.
2. Issue statements condemning the passage of the Bill and call on the President NOT to sign it into law, It is also important to continue to continue to remind Ugandans and our leaders to uphold Human Rights for all people
3. Wear a t-shirt, a bracelet, Carry a poster with a message of solidarity for the LGBT community in Uganda
4. Deliver Petitions to your embassies condemning this bill and urging the president to
5. Hold prayer vigils to show what a ‘dark day’ it is for Human Rights and to call upon ‘Devine Intervention’
6. Write to your political leader, your religious, your opinion leader to speak
7. Make sure you have called that media house you work with; we need Uganda, Africa and the whole world to know that we are visible, and to know that Human Rights are Universal.
8. Use social media
9. 5th February : Twitter blast- The idea is to send as many tweets on that day to the prime minister, the president’s office, parliament. With one simple message: ‘Don’t Kill, Protect LGBT people’: The world is watching