A group calling itself the National Parents Network (NPN) announced to journalists over the weekend that it has formed to lobby Uganda’s government to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, known as the “Kill the Gays” bill for its death penalty provision for repeat offenders.
The group has joined forces with the Uganda Coalition for Moral Values (UCMV) for a “Pass the Bill Now” campaign.
Mobilising under the ‘Uganda National Parents Network,’ the “Pass the BILL Now Campaign” the parents addressed journalists in Kampala [over the weekend] and outlined their course of action, following revelations lately that Cabinet had abandoned the bill owing to international pressure from donor countries.
“We urge you to do what is right even if it is not politically correct. Remember that your first obligation and loyalty should be to the citizens of Uganda and our children who are our future,” they urged government in a statement signed by Mr Steven Langa, the executive director Family Life Network.
“We ask you not to betray and abandon the parents who voted you into public office. Remember that is the Ugandans who elected you and not donors or foreign governments,” the statement added, noting that Uganda should make friends with nations that share common values. The parents called for formation of an African coalition with common cultural norms and values.
The group reportedly said its formation was necessary because recently the Ugandan Cabinet voted to discard the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 — it should be noted however, that because the bill is under the jurisdiction of Parliament this does not in fact prevent the legislation from being taken up or passed.
NPN says that a “lack of legislation on homosexuality” is allowing for a spread of same-sex relationships and that indoctrination is happening in schools and universities. Uganda in fact already has very strict anti-homosexuality laws and can invoke a jail term for those convicted, which is the chief reason why the Cabinet said it opposes spending time and money on passing new legislation.
For NPN, existing legislation does not go far enough it would seem.
Langa urged MPs to move fast to pass the anti homosexuality bill into law “to save the nation from immoral acts.”
He attacked President Yoweri Museveni’s cabinet for proposing to throw out the bill.
”We cannot stand by while our children are being destroyed and yet we have a government, legislators and law enforcers who have the duty of protecting our children from homosexuality and sexual slavery,” Langa said.
“We want the bill which was introduced in parliament in 2009 to be immediately passed into a law.”
He called on all parents to contact their MPs and ask them to pass the bill.
If passed as first proposed by MP David Bahati, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would also penalize attempted homosexuality, would unilaterally break ties with all international commitments that would impede its implementation, and could effectively exclude Uganda’s LGBT citizens from the judicial process because of its overreaching propaganda and collusion provisions.
While legislators are currently embroiled in budget talks the head of Uganda’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Stephen Tashobya, has suggested that such talks will be through by November at which point lawmakers would be free to take up the bill. Whether they will prioritize the legislation or hold-off on the matter remains to be seen.