At noon on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, human rights activists will hold a peaceful protest outside the Uganda Mission at 336 East 45th Street, to help stop the "kill the gays" bill now topping the Ugandan parliament's agenda thanks to human rights offender Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. The protest, titled "Uganda: The World Is Watching," is being organized by the AEB Project, a grassroots LGBT civil rights network based in the U.S., in consultation with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and other organizations. Protest signs will read "Shame on Uganda" and "Gays Like Christmas, Too," in response to Speaker Kadaga's promise that the genocidal law, which threatens gay Ugandans with death or life imprisonment, will come as a Christmas present to Uganda. Jesus Christ would no doubt be shocked.
Human rights for LGBT people in Africa have become an international cause, and the world is watching and engaged. But the Ugandan government is defying its own international treaty obligations and constitution. Many countries engage in this type of subterfuge to divert attention from their own internal political corruption, but scapegoating LGBT people as a political sport must be condemned and stopped.
The African Charter on Human & Peoples' Rights clearly mandates protection of all people from status-based discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation. And in December 2011, the United Nation's Human Rights Council issued a historic report affirming that international human rights treaties protect LGBT people from arrest and killing by their governments and require signatories, like Uganda, to decriminalize being gay. In fact, human rights norms categorically require protecting gays from discrimination.
Other organizations are mobilizing as well. Amnesty International will have a demonstration at the Ugandan Mission in Denmark on Monday, Dec. 3. Avaaz has an online petition with almost 1 million signatures. International corporations doing business in Uganda, such as Citibank and Barclays, are also being petitioned, with almost 500,000 signatures already. GetEqual is petitioning the United States senators who have access to Uganda via the Family network. And additional actions are in the works in South Africa, New York and Washington, D.C., with details to come soon.
Join the NYC action on Facebook here and help stop this crime against humanity before it happens.