Target:
President Museveni, Members of the Commonwealth, Members of the UN
Region:
Uganda
Website:
www.calebshope.org

Updates: http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Obama-Condemns-Anti-Gay-Bill-in-Uganda-83594912.html

Do the right thing. Sign this petition and pass it on.

Uganda wants to introduce a new anti-gay bill. This bill allows for anyone who's been found HIV positive to be charged with the death penalty. I find this shocking coming from a country who's people have already suffered and have been tortured, enslaved, and persecuted in a 23 year long war with rebels.

This bill is being encouraged - pressured - to move forward by evangelical groups that are providing "aid":
http://www.defendthefamily.com/

'Human-rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have condemned the bill. They say it is a product of a campaign by evangelical churches and anti-gay groups that has led to death threats and physical assaults against Ugandans suspected of being gay.'

Caleb's Hope, along with countless other grassroots NGOs, works in Northern Uganda with women and children living with HIV/AIDS. This new bill could greatly impact the lives of those we are trying to assist.

Not only that, it's a fundamental human right to live free from persecution, violence and discrimination based on your sexual orientation.

To read more about the proposed bill: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gNOsUTPIL6zoTWAGRTzPqmx3__IgD9CFBHJ00

The bill is hateful, shocking, disgusting and appalling. Stephen Lewis, former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa & head of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, puts it best: http://www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/news_item.cfm?news=3212

In case anyone needs a refresher, here's the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (courtesy of the outstanding Human Rights Action Center). To read the declaration: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/



Dear President Yoweri Museveni, members of the Commonwealth, and members of the UN:

We, the undersigned, call on you and the Ugandan government to re-examine the proposed anti-homosexual bill and the intentions for creating such a bill.

The ideas, belief systems and mandate from which the bill stems are not only severly archaic but in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights carried out by the United Nations. The arguments and opinions by supporters of this proposed bill are not factual, ignorant, delusive, perverse, colonialistic, and grossly misinformed.

You do not need to bow to the hateful and conditional ways of certain people and organizations (eg The Family) in order to get aid and support for your people.

The HIV/AIDS crisis is very real, as you know, and choosing to pass such a bill will only aggravate matters and jeopardize the progress of Uganda in the fight against AIDS. If one can face persecution merely by testing HIV positive, then very few Ugandans will step forward to be tested and seek treatment.

Stephen Lewis, head of The Stephen Lewis Foundation is quoted as saying that although there are many countries that still have laws against sodomy, that "nothing is as stark, punitive and redolent of hate as the bill in Uganda. Nothing comes close to such an omnibus violation of the human rights of sexual minorities.”

To further quote Mr. Lewis: “The credibility of the Commonwealth is hanging by a spider's thread,” he said. “The putative legislation declares war on homosexuality. … What is put at risk here – beyond the threat of the death penalty for HIV-positive homosexuals – is the entire apparatus of AIDS treatment, prevention and care.”

We couldn't agree more. The credibility of the Ugandan government and of the Commonwealth ARE hanging by a spider's thread.

We cannot support a government that wishes to take 10 steps backwards not only in the issue of basic human rights but in the fight against AIDS.

And for a country that has seen so much suffering in a 23 year long war - to intentionally create more suffering on its people is a travesty. Many of us care deeply about Uganda and its people; want to support and see the nation thrive. And because of that, we cannot and will not support this bill.
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