In 48 hours, the Ugandan Parliament may vote on a brutal new law that carries the death penalty for homosexuality. Thousands of Ugandans could face execution -- just for being gay.
We've helped stop this bill before, and we can do it again. After a massive global outcry last year, Ugandan President Museveni blocked the bill's progress. But political unrest is mounting in Uganda, and religious extremists in Parliament are hoping confusion and violence in the streets will distract the international community from a second push to pass this hate-filled law. We can show them that the world is still watching. If we block the vote for two more days until Parliament closes, the bill will expire forever.
... Being gay in Uganda is already dangerous and terrifying. They are regularly harassed and beaten, and just months ago, gay rights activist, David Kato (pictured above), was brutally murdered in his own home. Now LGBT Ugandans are threatened by this draconian law which imposes life imprisonment for people convicted of same-sex relations and the death penalty for “serial offenders”. Even NGOs working to prevent the spread of HIV can be imprisoned for “promoting homosexuality” under this hate-filled law.
Right now, Uganda is in political turmoil -- in the wake of the Arab spring, people across the country are taking to the streets, protesting high food and gas prices. President Museveni has responded by violently cracking down on the opposition. This upheaval has provided religious extremists in Parliament the perfect chance to slip in the shelved anti-gay bill just days before Parliament closes and all proposed laws are wiped from the books.
Museveni backed away from this bill last year after international pressure threatened Uganda's aid and support. With violent protests sweeping the streets, Museveni is more vulnerable than ever. In the next 48 hours, let’s build a massive international outcry in support of respect for human rights, justice and tolerance and against the gay death penalty. Together we can save lives by stopping this bill -- sign below, then tell friends and family:
Earlier this year, we stood in solidarity with Uganda's equality movement to show that every human life, no matter what creed, nationality or sexual orientation, is equally precious. Our international petition condemning the gay death penalty law was delivered to Parliament – spurring a global news story and enough pressure to block the bill for months. When a tabloid newspaper published 100 names, pictures and addresses, of suspected gays and those identified were threatened, Avaaz supported a legal case against the paper and we won! Our community has funded security for gay rights activists and operational funding for gay rights organizations. Together we have stood up, time and time again, for Uganda’s gay community -- now they need us more than ever.
With hope and determination,
Emma, Iain, Alice, Morgan, Brianna and the rest of the Avaaz team
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