Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Ugandan Trade: Death Penalty for Conversion Clause

The Box Turtle Bulletin points us to an interesting article from Bloomberg:

Uganda will drop the death penalty and life imprisonment for gays in a refined version of an anti- gay bill expected to be ready for presentation to Parliament in two weeks, James Nsaba Buturo, the minister of ethics and integrity, said.

The draft bill, which is under consideration by a parliamentary committee, will drop the two punishments to attract the support of religious leaders who are opposed to these penalties, Buturo said today in a phone interview from the capital, Kampala...
Perhaps some of the pressure from "religious leaders" is starting to have an impact? One can only hope.

However, it's not all good news. There is also this troubling line in the Bloomberg article:

...In addition to formulating punishments for the gay people, the bill will also promote counseling to help “attract errant people to acceptable sexual orientation,” said Buturo...
What is that all about? I'll let Jim Burroway from Box Turtle explain:

...This sounds remarkably like the recommendation that came out of the conference put on last March by Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and the International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge. According to that recommendation, LGBT people would receive either a lighter or suspended sentence if they went into disproved, unscientific counseling to try to “cure” them of their “affliction.” Of course, a choice between a Ugandan prison and “counseling” is a false choice as anyone with half decent intelligence can quickly deduce. Unsaid is what happens when that counseling inevitably fails...
Jim also points out that a number of other draconian elements remain in the bill, such as prison terms for gay rights advocates and those who fail to report gays to the authorities.

So, there appears to be some movement, although the trade-off being offered is not a great improvement.

Keep the prayers going for those who are in danger in Uganda. And keep the pressure on Canterbury to break his silence regarding this human rights crisis.


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