Uganda: Homosexuality

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 1st December 2009.

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Photo of Chris McCafferty Chris McCafferty Labour, Calder Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government have made to the Ugandan Government on their proposed legislation to (a) increase penalties for homosexuality and (b) introduce the death sentence for HIV positive homosexuals.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

holding answer 25 November 2009

The legislation is a Private Member's Bill, which was introduced on 14 October 2009 and is currently at committee stage in Uganda's Parliament. It has not so far been adopted formally by the Ugandan Government.

We have grave concerns about the Bill, which we have made clear in representations to Ugandan Ministers including by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to President Museveni and my noble Friend, the Minister for Africa and the UN, Baroness Kinnock to Foreign Minister Kutesa at the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Our concerns include the negative impact the Bill would have on the rights of homosexual and heterosexual Ugandans through the criminalisation of any action that could be construed as support for homosexuality, the introduction of the death penalty for some acts criminalised by the Bill, and the potential impact of the Bill on the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda.

The UK is also in close touch with and is supporting Ugandan civil society organisations campaigning against the Bill.

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