Global Day of Action: Uganda’s anti-gay law


I had no idea what to write about for his week’s blog but as I drove to school, the radio had something extremely interesting. Just as I had no idea, I’m sure many of you are not aware of Uganda’s situation concerning its gay community. Uganda’s parliament once again passed an amended bill in December of 2013, increasing penalties for already existing anti-gay legislation. The bill if passed will legalize the persecution of people based solely on sexual orientation. The bill also has retained life imprisonment as its severe punishment and has dropped the death penalty for such crime. In addition, people working on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs and LGBT rights would face criminal charges and jail terms for promoting homosexuality. As most of us already know, the African countries are the most intolerant in the world when it comes to homosexuality and Uganda is among the most intolerant. The president only has until February 23rd to veto or amend the bill to stop it becoming law. The president has commissioned reports from doctors and geneticists before making his decision. According to several sources, the president believes he can only give his consent for the bill if scientists can prove that homosexuals are made rather than born.


Today, thousands of civil society activists, including Amnesty International supporters in the UK, Canada, Spain and Germany are acting together in solidarity with campaigners in Uganda to show their opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill and call on President Museveni to veto it.  Today has been deemed a “Global Day of Action” were multiple civil society groups around the world have gathered under a similar cause to urge the President of Uganda to veto the bill through protests, petitions and action on social media.


Once again, an African country hates the gay community and is seeking to legalize their persecution. This issue was particularly interesting to me not only because of the effort that the international organizations are putting on Uganda but also because Richard Branson of Virgin, has spoken publicly about how companies should boycott Uganda to pressure them to not pass this law. As Branson described, this is “a dreadful witch hunt against the gay community”. Uganda and the rest of the African countries need to get it together and realize that in our modern civilization, equality for all is the engine behind the most powerful societies. It will be interesting to see what happens at the end of the month whether the bill gets passed or not. Even if the president does not sign, the bill could still pass if on resend, the parliament once again approves by 2/3 of votes.


I would love to hear any opinions or comments regarding this matter.

Does anyone find Richard Bronson’s actions interesting and/or possibly effective?


Sources: Amnesty International; The Guardian

Picture: The Guardian


  1. I think it is astonishing of how intolerant this piece of legislation is towards one class of people. Not only are they punishing homosexuals for who they are, but they are also aiming to punish people that help them, such as medical people working against the prevention of HIV/AIDS. This isn’t the 1980s anymore, gay sex is not the only way HIV/AIDS can be transmitted. It can very well be carried by both men and women and passed through heterosexual sex. By limiting the prevention of HIV/AIDS because of intolerance is nonsense.
    Also, punishing people who help fight for LGBT rights restricts people’s freedom and I believe would never fly in the United States because of our Freedom of Association. I do agree with Branson’s statements, but I do not how effective it would be because as we have seen with Chik-fil-a, there are companies who exercise their rights to have opposing views. If enough join, it could hurt the Ugandan economy, but not enough to make them desperate.

  2. As many of us know, the failures in Africa are a result of the Western Colonization and Cold War thinking. Africa attempts to emulate all that the west has done and will do, either through their own initiative or through international pressure. What the countries that have had the biggest influence on Africa – France, the UK, USA, Russia and others – need to do is push Africa into the right direction and make sure that they develop equality and respect for individual rights. The international community needs to send a message that intolerance is intolerable and that hatred to our friends and family will never garner respect in the international community, but instead spite, neglect and hatred.

    This will definitely be difficult because while countries are stepping up to promote equality in love and marriage, others are stepping up the hatred and violence to the LGTQ community. For example, while France has legalized gay marriage, countries like Russia have a big anti-gay lobby that has greatly influenced anti gay legislation, and violence against homosexuals for that matter. Furthermore, look at the United States of America. The country is torn on the issue and while it seems that as a whole we are moving toward equality and respect for people’s right to love who they wish, there are instances where people actually see their hatred for the LGBTQ community (look up reactions to the popular Disney Channel show Good Luck Charlie and their depiction of a homosexual couple, or how people react when a celebrity comes out to the public).

    If we want Uganda to respect people’s rights, we need to lead by example and call for international respect for the LGBTQ community and let them know time spent on hating is time wasted and we must garner love and respect for one another.

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