BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – A Ugandan newspaper is reporting that a conference of religious leaders wants the African country's parliament to hasten the passage of the anti-homosexuality nill to prevent "an attack on the Bible and the institution of marriage."
According to the Daily Monitor, the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) called on the country's churches to "remain steadfast in opposing the phenomena of homosexuality, lesbianism and same-sex union." The UJCC is made up of Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox clerics.
The on-again/off-again measure was introduced as a private member's bill in 2009 by MP David Bahati, who is quoted by the Monitor as saying that it is at committee level and "hopefully it will soon be brought back to the House for discussion. We are determined to fight to the end."
More scathingly referred to as the "kill the gays" bill, the proposed legislation and its supporters have faced a barrage of international criticism from world leaders and activists for its draconian measures, including the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality." One of Uganda's prominent gay activists, Frank Mugisha, spoke to the Huffington Post and wrote a piece in The New York Times about the conditions queer Ugandans face. With the help of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, Mugisha filed suit in March against American evangelical pastor Scott Lively, of Abiding Truth Ministries, alleging he played a key role in persecuting Uganda's queer community and helped lay the foundation for the anti-homosexuality bill.
For more on Uganda, click here to view a series of articles by Xtra freelance reporter Kaj Hasselriis.
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