The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) organized a successful Global Day of Action Against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which took place Monday around the world.
A leading international organization advocating for LGBT and gender equality, IGLHRC has a history of working with everyone from the United Nations to regional groups to put end discrimination. For Monday's event, the NGO focused its attention to the Uganda's "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," also known as the "Jail the Gays Bill," and used a Facebook event and Twitter to raise awareness with the hashtags #StopAHB and #AHBGlobalDayofAction.
Uganda's draconian, anti-LGBT bill first entered Parliament for consideration in 2009, but was only recently passed in December 2013. The president has not yet signed it into law, as he is reportedly consulting with so-called scientists, who claim that gay people are "made, not born," to determine if the "condition" of being LGBT is "genetic [or] a behavior that is acquired."
Should the bill be signed into law, people in Uganda who are LGBT could be sentenced to life in prison. The Facebook event for the Global Day of Action described the potential law as "a disaster to the Human Rights of LGBT people, a disaster to public health and the fight against HIV/AIDS." Furthermore, the page urged, "Silence will not protect us!! We need to speak out against Injustice; We need to speak out FOR Human Rights! We need to speak out against the Anti Homosexuality Bill. We need you to Let Uganda know, through this Day of Action, that the world is watching. We Must demand Justice and respect for Human Rights for all Ugandans."
“This bill is not just anti-homosexuality: it is anti-democracy and anti-common sense,” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of IGLHRC, explained. “If the bill becomes law, healthcare professionals, teachers, human rights defenders, and anyone who believes in equality and says so could be thrown in jail. We stand in solidarity with the many Ugandans who have already risked their freedom to say: enough is enough, this bill is wrong!”
(Roller Derby in Norway)
(Washington DC outside Ugandan Embassy)