At the Legislators meeting in Geneva of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), a majority voted a ban debate on the subject of LGBT human rights – and according to Ugandan reports this is a forever-enduring ban. Some nations brought the subject to the floor, in the hope of passing an amendment to include LGBT people in a declaration on migrants and refugees.
However Rebecca Kadaga , Uganda’s notoriously homophobic Speaker of Parliament, threatened a walk-out in Geneva back in March. Kadaga, who was and remains a vocal supporter of her country’s anti-homosexuality law, was furious at the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly for suggesting the amendment. She accused European nations of trying to sneak in the amendment at the last minute, and launched into one of her notorious tirades, which can be viewed at Mamba Online, here, thus leading the push to ban the discussion.
Kadaga termed the amendment as a well-orchestrated machination by Canada and Belgium. Now as a result of this anti-LGBT surge, involving countries which criminalize sexual minorities and gender identity, 689 MPs voted against the proposal while 499 legislators voted for the proposal.
It is a sad day when so many people who seek refuge from criminalization and persecution from their own countries receive further abuse at the hands of a global body such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union. This is a body which ought to place human rights and protections for these very people at the fore. It is as if these criminalizing and persecutory nations are trying to contain and control the only protections available to persecuted LGBT people, which obviously involves global protections in the form of exile and migration. This may well lead to a split in the organization, as it becomes a reality for states which protect all people equally to realize that it is not possible to continue to function in a climate so contrary to basic human decency – to turn against the most marginalized of refugees and asylum seekers, who have a right to protections from other nations. (Melanie Nathan – in my capacity as Executive Director of the African Human Rights Coalition.)
In 2014, Rebecca Kadaga led the Ugandan Parliament to the passage of the ill-conceived KILL THE GAYS BILL. The Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 passed the Ugandan Parliament in December 2013, without the death penalty clause, but including life imprisonment. The Bill was signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni in 2014. In August of that same year it was challenged by Ugandan human rights defenders. The Ugandan court nullified the law, not on its merits, but rather on a technicality: Kadaga had failed to bring the legislation to passage with the requisite quorum. Since 2014 the Ugandan Parliament has threatened periodically to bring what remains a popular Bill back for a vote.
South African publication, Mamba Online gives more detail about the shocking vote here.
Today hundreds of Uganda’s LGBTQI community has fled into exile, while others remain in the country attempting to change attitudes. The anti- LGBT hostility is rampant and vehement. At African HRC we try to safe shelter LGBT refugees and asylum seekers. We provide country conditions reports and advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers, who are suffering greatly, with few solutions available for escape. The conditions for refugees are deplorable. Exile can take many years of great suffering. We are unfunded and its an extremely difficult road. We ask for your help:
Please help us in this fight to assist LGBT asylum seekers and refugees by donating to AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COALITION: HERE
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