United Nations and EU tell Uganda to repeal anti-gay bill

Tuesday May 17 2011

Ms Ashton

Ms Ashton 

By Emmanuel Mulondo

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Union High Representative have urged Uganda to engage in an informed debate and repeal all legislation that criminalises same sex and other “unnatural” sexual behaviour.

A statement issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the call was “not claiming new or special rights” but “affirming human rights as they apply to diverse sexual orientations and gender identities” as “both UN treaty bodies and international jurisprudence repeatedly have declared that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) are protected by existing human rights treaties.”

The call to Uganda to repeal anti-gay and “unnatural sex” legislation comes at a time when a private member’s Bill remains on table to criminalise homosexuality, though the Penal Code already provides for such offences.

But Pastor Martin Ssempa, an anti-gay activist, said the UN had been hijacked by “sodomites”, who were “forcing it down our throat”. He said homosexuality was a “violation of reproductive rights” and practitioners were “victims of bad parenting”.

“Homosexuality is curable,” he explained. In recent times LBGTI have become more vocal in agitating for their rights with international support.

Meanwhile, the European Union High Representative, Catherine Ashton, said the union “reaffirm the strong commitment of the European Union – and myself - to the entitlement of all persons to enjoy the full range of human rights without discrimination.”

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