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July 27, 2011

IconUganda recognises LGBTI lobby

In a surprise move, the Ugandan government has appointed lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex lobby group Uhspa-Uganda to a high-profile Ministry of Health committee. However, LGBTI people still face legislative threats in the country.

Uhspa-Uganda “brings together journalists, lawyers, social scientists, minority groups, students and the academia to put an end to homophobia and transphobia”. The group was invited to participate in a meeting of the Health, Human Rights and Gender Committee as a “key stakeholder” in minority rights and health programming.

Uhspa-Uganda Lobby and Advocacy Officer Hasifa Nakiganda welcomed the move: “this engagement will help in addressing challenges to HIV and health information, care, treatment and support for LGBTI persons,” she said.

The development comes as international observers warn that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill may be reintroduced to the Ugandan parliament. The bill, which mandated execution for “aggravated homosexuality”, generated international controversy after its introduction in 2009.

“A new version of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will appear to have removed the death penalty in order to avoid international outcry,” warned the US-based Centre for Constitutional Rights. “In reality, it appears that provisions of the bill will link to other laws that will trigger the death penalty.”

[via LGBT Asylum News and Pink Paper]

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Ruth Pearce

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