Today Uganda's Bishop Christopher Senyonjo spoke at a hearing by the Ugandan Legal Parliamentary Committee. Bishop Senyonjo, who has spoken publicly against Uganda's anti-gay legistlation, addressed the dangerous effects of criminalization of the LGBT community.
He specifically talked about how the bill would impinge upon access to information about HIV and AIDS prevention and care.
"If we criminalize the LGBT community further, it will drive Ugandans further underground and compromise the relationship of medical, counselors and clergy that is sacrosanct and needs to remain confidential," the bishop said. "How can we expect doctors to treat everyone when this bill will require them to report on their patients who are LGBT?"
Three other testimonies were given by members of Uganda's Civil Society Coalition dealing with the legal and medical isses that would result with the passage of the bill. Two attorneys and a local physican, Dr. Sagmugoma, addresed the issues of discrimination and the violation of human rights.
Further testimony was given by the Ugandan Human Rights Comission on the bill's violation of international law, particularly requiring any Ugandan living abroad to be extradited back to Uganda to face indictment for being gay.
"Punishing someone for being who they are violates human rights," Bishop Senyonjo said.
If the bill is passed by Parliament, it will be up to the president to veto it.
Sign All Out's petition against this anti-gay bill here.