This week the notorious 'kill the gays" legislation in Uganda has gained new life. After an international uproar last year, many had hoped that the legislation that will create the death penalty for being a member of the LGBT community had been tabled. Unfortunately, internal unrest against a brutal regime has awakened interest in this legislation. For a while this week there was hope and even an AP report that it has been stopped. The most recent reports, although confusing, indicate a Friday vote.
Even without the legislation, Uganda has become a symbol of the increasing homophobia in some African nations. One of the nation's leading LGBT leaders was assassinated, others have been put in prisons and some have been beaten. Every single LGBT citizen of Uganda is at risk. Missionaries have been a major force in the movement to create the death penalties for LGBT citizens and they receive huge financial support from the religious right wing in America.
Adding to the rush to this vote is increasingly significant unrest in Uganda. President Yoweri Museveni has served as President for 25 years. Opposition leaders have been forced often into exile in neighboring Kenya. In recent weeks there have been street demonstrations against the long term and increasingly autocratic rule of Museveni with some dead. Riots have swept the Kampala, the capita,l city. Observers feel that Museveni is allowing the vote to happen, even with massive international condemnation, in order to shore up his support among his coalition.
If this vote does take place and is successful, it is imperative the United States stop all aid, withdraw its Ambassador in protest and the President needs to speak out against this horror.