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Growing international outrage over Uganda’s anti-gay bill

Nearly 100 protesters rallied outside the Ugandan Embassy in London yesterday to protest Uganda’s draconian anti-gay bill.

The bill, which is being debated in Uganda’s Parliament, proposes life imprisonment and, in some cases, execution of gays. A recent report suggested that Uganda may modify the bill slightly to remove some of the more extreme punishments, but the bill’s author denies that. “We are not going to yield to any international pressure – we cannot allow people to play with the future of our children,” David Bahati told the Guardian.

Activists Peter Tatchell, Godwyns Onwuchekwa, Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay and Bisi Alimi. Photo taken Dec 10, by Brett Lock of OutRage! See more pics here.

UK-based queer rights group OutRage! co-organized yesterday’s protest in London. From their report:

The keynote speakers were gay Ugandan John Bosco and straight Ugandan human rights activist, Michael Senyonjo. 

John Bosco was recently jailed in Uganda, after he was illegally and forcibly returned to Uganda by the British Home office while seeking asylum in the UK. 

He condemned the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as “an attack on the civil liberties of all Ugandans,” denouncing it as “dividing Ugandans against each other and requiring people to report on their own family members who are gay.”

Michael Senyonjo told the crowd: “In the last five years we have seen Idi Amin return to Uganda and his name is (President) Yoweri Museveni. We cannot allow fascism to return to Uganda. He should leave power and go because he is not taking the country anywhere but to disaster,” he said. 

Meanwhile, NBC’s Rachel Maddow keeps up the heat on US evangelicals for their ties to Uganda’s anti-gay politics. In yesterday’s segment, she takes on pastor Rick Warren:

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