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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
UGANDA: Ugandan Activists Ask Parliament to Reject Anti-Gay

March 1, 2010
Agence France Presse (03.01.10) - Monday, March 01, 2010

Today in Kampala, around 400 anti-AIDS campaigners presented Parliament Speaker Edward Ssekandi with a petition urging lawmakers to reject a proposed law that calls for extreme penalties against homosexuality. "The bill is not about protecting Ugandan culture and traditions as it purports. On the contrary, it is violating our cultures, traditions, and religious values that teach against intolerance, injustice, hatred, and violence," said the Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha. The bill would criminalize public discussion of homosexuality and enact penalties against persons who knowingly rent property to a homosexual. It also calls for the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," in cases of rape of a minor by a person of the same sex or where one partner is HIV-infected. Homosexuality is already illegal in the country. Ssekandi told the group the bill must undergo due process. "As part of this procedure we welcome people with divergent views to submit them so that we take into account these concerns," Ssekandi said.