Secondly, I received the email below from Peter Tatchell and I have emailed Ann Widdecombe asking her to back the EDM which condemns Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill. It will be interesting to read her response. Can I urge others to do this too.
Please ask your MP to sign the Early Day Motion on Uganda London – 14 January 2010 Labour MP Harry Cohen has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM 575)condemning Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The Bill proposes the death penalty for certain categories of same-sex acts, including for repeat offenders, and life imprisonment for merely touching another person with homosexual intent. A copy of the EDM follows below. “We hope the EDM will send a signal from the British parliament to the Ugandan government that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill constitutes an unacceptable attack on the human rights of Uganda’s lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens,” said Peter Tatchell of the London-based LGBT human rights group OutRage! “This Bill violates Article 21 of the constitution of Uganda, which guarantees equality and non-discrimination: 21. Equality and freedom from discrimination. (1) All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law. “It also breaches the equality and anti-discrimination provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which Uganda has signed and pledged to uphold. “We are very grateful that Harry Cohen has tabled this EDM. He is a long-standing ally of the LGBT community and has championed gay equality for two decades. Way back in the early 1990s, he was one of the few MPs to ask Parliamentary Questions and write to Government Ministers, pressing for the repeal of homophobic laws. We thank him,” added Mr Tatchell. The EDM reads: ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL IN UGANDA Harry Cohen MP That this House calls on the British Government and the European Union to press the government of Uganda not to proceed with its Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which violates the equality and non-discrimination provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter of Human and People's Rights; abhors that this Bill, currently before the Uganda parliament, proposes the death penalty for repeat homosexual acts, extends the existing penalty of life imprisonment for anal intercourse to all other same-sex behaviour, including the mere touching of another person with the intent to have homosexual relations and imposes life imprisonment for contracting a same-sex marriage; notes that under the provisions of the Bill membership of providing funding for gay organisations advocating gay human rights and providing condoms or safer sex advice to gay people will result in a sentence of between five and seven years for promoting homosexuality and that a person in authority who fails to report offenders to the police within 24 hours will incur a three year prison sentence; further notes that this monstrous proposed law contains extra-territorial jurisdiction so that it will apply to Ugandans who breach its provisions whilst living abroad, even in countries where such behaviour is not a criminal offence, and that such Ugandans living overseas could be subject to extradition, trial and punishment in Uganda; and demands that the Ugandan government uphold international humanitarian law by abandoning its Anti-Homosexuality Bill, decriminalising same-sex acts between consenting adults in private, and outlawing discrimination against gay people http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40154&SESSION=903 What you can do Please ask your MP to sign EDM 575 on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill You can email your MP direct via this website: www.writetothem.com Just click on the link and enter your postcode. It will tell you who is your MP and you can email him or her direct. Easy. All you need to do is write as follows: Draft letter to your MP [or use this one]: Dear (insert your MP’s name), As one of your constituents, I urge you to sign EDM 575, tabled by Harry Cohen MP. It condemns Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This Bill proposes the death penalty for some same-sex acts and life imprisonment for others. The Bill also proposes up to seven years jail for anyone who advocates gay equality and three years jail for parents who fail to report their gay sons or daughters to the police. See a copy of the Bill here: http://www.ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/09/Nov/Bill-No-18-Anti-Homosexuality-Bill-2009_Uganda.pdf And a summary of the key points of the Bill here: http://www.petertatchell.net/international/uganda-anti-homosexuality-bill–a-briefing.html Please also consider writing to the Uganda High Commissioner in London: Her Excellency, High Commissioner Joan Rwabyomere, Uganda High Commission, Uganda House, 58-59 Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DX. Phone 020-7839-5783, Fax 020-7839-8925 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you. Insert your name