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Hateful laws remain in Presidents' hands

Thu 2 Jan 2014 In: International News View at Wayback

Yoweri Museveni and Goodluck Jonathan Nigeria and Uganda’s bills vicious anti-gay bills remain in the hands of their Presidents, who are deciding whether to sign them in to law. In Uganda it’s up to President Yoweri Museveni to decide whether a law punishing ‘aggravated homosexuality’ with life imprisonment will be enacted. The law would also make it illegal to ‘promote’ homosexuality and allow for people to do not report homosexual activities to the police to also be jailed. Museveni is promising he is studying the bill carefully and “thinking before acting”. He will then take it to the caucus of his party, the National Resistance Movement. While there is intense pressure from within his country for him to sign it into law, there are global cries for him to reject the hateful law. Among those is the human rights office of the United Nations, which has pleaded with President Yoweri Museveni to not sign the bill. “LGBT individuals in Uganda are a vulnerable and marginalized minority, already facing violence and discrimination. If signed by the President, this new law would reinforce stigma and prejudice, and institutionalize discrimination,” says Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Urgent steps must be taken to ensure effective protection of LGBT individuals from violence and discrimination.” The future of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill remains up to the nation’s President Goodluck Jonathan. The law would ban same-sex marriage and outlaw glbti rights groups. There is debate about whether the Nigerian leader will stick to his reputation of not being homophobic and throw the bill out, or sign it as he is struggling in the polls and desires public support.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 2nd January 2014 - 9:56am

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