Saturday, January 16, 2010

UN's human rights chief urges Uganda to scrap anti-gay legislation – by David Smith -

January 15, 2010

The UN's top human rights official has called on Uganda to drop a proposed ­anti-homosexuality law that would impose the death penalty on some gay and lesbian people. Photo

Navi Pillay, the UN's high commissioner for human rights, joined a growing ­chorus of opposition condemning the bill as ­discriminatory and called for homosexuality to be decriminalised in the country.

"The bill proposes ­draconian punishments for people alleged to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered – namely life imprisonment, or in some cases, the death penalty," she said.

"To criminalise people on the basis of colour or gender is now unthinkable in most countries. The same should apply to an individual's sexual orientation." Photo

Pillay called on the Ugandan ­government to put the draft bill on hold because it breaches international human rights standards.ould apply to an individual's sexual orientation."

The UN said Uganda's parliament may discuss the bill as early as next week. It has provoked criticism from western governments and gay rights groups and protests in London, New York and Washington.

Pillay said Uganda had a generally "good track record" of co-operating with human rights mechanisms but the bill "threatens to seriously damage the country's ­reputation in the international arena".

A Ugandan preacher said he was planning a "million-man" march to support the legislation. Read complete article - by David Smith -

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