Uganda lawmaker calls for all African gay people to be jailed for life

Atim Ogwal Cecilia Barbara says Africa should pass a continent-wide resolution condemning homosexuality

Uganda lawmaker calls for all African gay people to be jailed for life
11 October 2012

A Uganda lawmaker is calling for the life imprisonment of all African gay people.

Speaking at the Pan African Parliament in Johannesburg on 9 October, Atim Ogwal Cecilia Barbara failed to convince other lawmakers to pass a continent-wide resolution that condemns, prohibits and punishes homosexuality.

Barbara said: ‘Africa must stand up. We must pass a resolution condemning homosexuality because it is not an African culture.

‘We are not allowed to practice polygamy in other countries, why should we be forced to do what is not natural?’

The proposal was rejected, with some parliamentary members saying it was a ‘blot’ on Uganda’s emergence from civil war.

Local news source SABC reports that South African politician Santosh Vanita Kalyan called Uganda’s resolution proposal ‘bizarre’.

‘It will never pass in this parliament, especially from members like us who feel that the rights of all should be respected,’ he said.

Namibian Member of Parliament Peter Katjavivi said the resolution ‘should never be made a continental-wide affair. We should respect laws as they affect individual countries.’

In a comment piece for Gay Star News, gay Kenyan Senate candidate David Kuria says in large parts of the continent, homosexuality is considered to be ‘un-African’.

He said: ‘Some extremists are also pushing for more stringent anti-homosexuality laws, like the ‘kill the gays’ bill pending in the Ugandan parliament, and similar legislation in Nigeria.

‘These developments cast a dark shadow on the liberation struggle for African homosexuals.’

In Africa, it is illegal to be gay in 25 out of 38 nations. In Uganda, homosexuality is punished by life imprisonment, and in Mauritania, Sudan, and northern parts of Nigeria gay people face the death penalty.

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