Protest against Ugandan & Commonwealth homophobia

Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March, Westminster Abbey

Commonwealth Day: Monday 13 March

Assemble: 1pm opposite Westminster Abbey, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3PA

Nearest tube: Westminster

The protest will take place as Commonwealth leaders and King Charles arrive for the annual Commonwealth Day service.

It is supported by the Out & Proud African LGBTI, African Equality Foundation and the Peter Tatchell Foundation

Uganda’s vicious Anti-Homosexuality Bill is back! It is one of the most repressive laws in the world.

Uganda is not alone: 32 out of 56 Commonwealth member states criminalise same-sex relations, in defiance of the “toothless” Commonwealth Charter.

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality bill stipulates:

  • 10 years jail for male & female homosexuality or for professing a LGBT+ identity.
  • 10 years jail for touching with homosexual intent or claiming to be married to same-sex partner.
  • 2-10 years jail for attempting homosexuality or having gay sex while HIV+.
  • 1-7 years jail for providing premises to LGBTs.
  • 2-5 years jail for promoting, advocating, funding or sponsoring homosexuality.
  • 2 years jail for aiding & counselling homosexuality or conspiring to commit homosexuality.
  • In addition, LGBTs must pay compensation to their “victims.” Persons charged with aggravated same-sex offences must undergo forced HIV tests.

Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation said:

“This bill is one of the most sweeping & draconian homophobic laws ever considered by any regime in the world. It would outlaw almost every aspect of LGBT+ existence, including LGBT+ identity, advocacy, funding and organisation. The bill violates Sections 2 and 4 of the Commonwealth Charter. It also breaches Article 21 of the Uganda constitution & Articles 2 and 3 of the African Charter of Human & People’s Rights – both of which guarantee equal treatment and prohibit discrimination. The Commonwealth is a total sham for failing to speak out Uganda’s extreme persecution of LGBT+ people and against the 31 other Commonwealth nations that are allowed to terrorise LGBT+ people with impunity.”

Abbey Kiwanuka, a Ugandan activist with of the Out & Proud African LGBTI group said:

“Contrary to what the proposers of this bill claim, no one is recruiting anyone into homosexuality. Politicians in Uganda scapegoat LGBTs and use homosexuality as a pretext to divert people from questioning their failed policies. It’s high time Ugandans woke up and realised that homosexuality is not the cause of people’s suffering. The problem is the rotten, corrupt system that has undermined and deterred the country’s development. We are ready to fight this bill, and victory will be ours.”

Edwin Sesange, from the African Equality Foundation, said:
“There is no peaceful common future in the Commonwealth when LGBTs are being persecuted, I call upon the leadership to speak out and hold countries like Uganda accountable and to respect basic human rights.”