URGENT: TAKE ACTION AGAINST UGANDA'S ANTI HOMOSEXUALITY BILL; SUPPORT RECALL OF U.S. AMBASSADOR, SCOTT DELISI
We have reached a critical hour in the fight for social justice and human rights for Ugandans. On February 14th, President Museveni announced his intention to sign the Anti Homosexuality Bill into law. He hid behind quack science released in the form of a 'Scientific Statement on Homosexuality' endorsed - alarmingly - by his own Ministry of Health.
This Bill is considered unconstitutional by Ugandan legal and human rights experts including the Ugandan Human Rights Commission and the Uganda Law Society. It would inflict harsh punishment on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandans - up to life in prison for "aggravated homosexuality" - and would make it a crime to "promote" or "aid or abet homosexuality" - punishable by up to 7 years' imprisonment. Efforts to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandans get access to essential health services and understand their legal rights would be criminalized. Beneficiaries of such programs as well as the organizations and individuals providing those services would become vulnerable to arrest, prosecution, fines, and lengthy prison sentences. Uganda's fight against critical health priorities, such as HIV, would be sabotaged by passage of this Bill into law.
Ugandan civil society is requesting that President Obama and other governments take action now in response. They are calling for the U.S. Ambassador to be recalled to Washington DC for strategic consultation. This temporary recall would send a strong message to President Museveni that the U.S. is standing by its commitments. They are calling for the same action for the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria - a country where passage of a similar bill into law is already leading to a surge in persecution and violence.
We need you to take action urgently and join their call for Secretary of State John Kerry to recall U.S. Ambassador Scott DeLisi. This temporary recall is an appropriate next step as we fight back against the Anti Homosexuality Bill. Will you take action today?
1. Please call Secretary Kerry's chief of staff's office at: 202-647-5548. Here is a call in-script to use:
Hello, my name is ---------------------- and I am calling to urge Secretary Kerry to take immediate action on Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and recall the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Scott DeLisi. The Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law has requested the recalling of U.S., European and other Ambassadors, for urgent consultations about the way forward for human rights in Uganda as well as in Nigeria, where a similar bill was signed into law by the President. I stand with Ugandan Civil Society concerned about the safety of their LGBTQ citizens, and strongly urge Secretary Kerry to recall U.S. Ambassador Scott DeLisi immediately.
2. Want to make another call? Leave a comment for the Secretary on his comment line. Call 202-647-5291 and then dial "1", followed by "8" to leave a comment.
The State Department is in active consultation about their next steps, and your call will make a difference in the fight against bigotry and homophobia, and for human rights and access to essential services for all Ugandans.