UPDATE: Uganda Reportedly to Remove Death Penalty from Anti-Gay Bill
The Canadian Press reported on Thursday that a provision in Uganda’s anti-gay bill that calls for the execution of some gay and lesbian people will be removed from the legislation after President Yoweri Museveni expressed opposition.
The proposed legislation, however, remains extremely brutal and calls for the life-imprisonment of some LGB Ugandans. The bill also prescribes so-called ‘reparative therapy’ as a means of “stop[ping] the bad habit.”
So-called ‘reparative therapy’ has been denounced by numerous American medical and psychological organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association.
The Washington Post published an op-ed on Thursday which stressed that simply removing the death penalty from the bill is a paltry win and should not be celebrated by human rights advocates:
This retreat from the death sentence originally proposed should neither be celebrated nor considered a concession by the government in response to pressure from the United States and other nations. The proposal is barbaric. That it is even being considered puts Uganda beyond the pale of civilized nations.
Meanwhile, other African nations are also persecuting LGBT citizens. Reuters reported on Wednesday that Amnesty International has called on the nation of Malawi to release two gay men who were imprisoned after holding a traditional wedding ceremony.
The arrest of the two men solely for their real or perceived sexual orientation amounts to discrimination and it is in violation of their rights to freedom of conscience, expression and privacy. Amnesty International considers individuals imprisoned solely for their consensual sexual relationship in private as prisoners of conscience and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.
GLAAD will continue to follow the media’s coverage of Uganda’s virulently anti-gay measure. Updates can be found on GLAADblog.org