Ugandan MPs foil gay agenda at IPU conference

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga (M) and Mr Latif Sebaggala (L), during the Assembly. Courtesy photo

The Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) has foiled plans of pro-gay nations to introduce the LGBT agenda through the amendment of assembly rules.

During the 139th Assembly of the IPU in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, members of the Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights, wanted to introduce amendment to rules that could make it impossible for the general assembly to change or debate anything passed by the group.

Committee chairperson Mr B. Tshireletso (Botswana), said that the proposal had received overwhelming support from members hence their decision should be adopted without debate in the assembly.

 The position, however, attracted serious objection from mainly Arab and African members.

This prompted the current IPU President, Ms Gabriela Cuevas Barron to propose that members lobby and campaign before voting on the question whether the assembly could change the work plan and agenda of standing committees.

Uganda’s delegations led by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga rallied various delegates in different geopolitical groups to support the motion which could allow the assembly to amend several issues in the committee report that had already been adopted by a smaller group of suspected gay supporters.

The Ugandan delegation comprised Ms Mourine Osoru (Woman MP Arua), Mr Abdulatif  Sebaggala (Kawempe North), Ms Rose Kabagyeni (Woman MP Kisoro), Ms Esther Anyakun (Woman MP Nakapiripirit District), Mr Paul Akamba (Busiki) and Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju)

Ms Barron told delegates that the outcome of the vote would be respected and no further motion would be allowed on the floor.

When delegates voted, 874 supported the motion, 671 opposed it while 120 abstained, throwing Ugandan MPs into jubilation for they championed the fight against any gay debate in the Assembly.

“We are very grateful to all IPU countries that have supported this initiative. We knew about these back door plans and I informed the Parliamentary Union of the Islamic Conference and we all agreed that we should block this item from being included on the agenda,” Mr Sebaggala said.

Mr Akamba referred to the vote as a win in a battle they were ready to fight.

He thanked the Asian community that stood with the African majority to fight LGBT issues that have always been smuggled onto the IPU agenda.

“Article 1(2) of the IPU statute talks about defending and promoting only those rights that are accepted universally and issues of LGBT community as you can see, have been widely opposed. IPU should restrain from such useless debates,” Mr Akamba said.

Mr Mwijukye called upon delegates to always pass laws and vote on issues that would help people in their respective nations and to promote their cultures as well as “respecting God’s laws and the Constitution of the IPU Parliament.”

“We shall continue fighting the LGBT issues at international level until people here appreciate that same sex is unhuman and anti-culture,” he said.

IPU is a global organisation of various parliaments that works to safeguard peace and drive positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.