Interview with Activist Kasha Jacqueline and MP David Bahati about Uganda Anti-homosexuality Bill

ILGA reports that Ugandan Activist Kasha Jacqueline was interviewed in the Sunday edition of Uganda’s Daily Monitor along with MP David Bahati about the future of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. As MP Bahati plans to reintroduce the bill in the next session of parliament, Kasha Jacqueline reiterated that “we need Ugandans to stand up and say enough is enough – and our allies in the international community to also stand up.”

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera’s responses:

Where does the fight against this Bill stand now?

He (Bahati) is going to reintroduce it. He thinks he is right – but he is using his power to abuse a minority group. We are going to keep lobbying the way we have been doing, not only internationally but even locally. Nothing is going to change. We are going to go back the same way we did in the 8th Parliament… If he goes ahead, gets support. If the Parliament votes for it, we shall go ahead and challenge it in the Constitutional Court.

How important has the international community’s voice been to keeping the bill at bay?

Why didn’t they pass it in this Parliament? They had all the time – why didn’t they if they knew it was really a national issue? They are not stupid, because they knew they could not be a pariah state. We are part of a global village – they are not only condemning anti-homosexuality, but they are condemning all human rights violations. Every human rights violation that happens in Uganda, we need Ugandans to stand up and say enough is enough – and our allies in the international community to also stand up. At the end of the day, Uganda is not alone, we operate in a global village.

Mr Bahati has made some serious allegations to the “pro-gay movement” in regards to financing the “inducement of children” into homosexuality. How do you respond?

If I found someone trying to recruit children into homosexuality, I would even hand them in myself – he is trying to pretend that he’s protecting children of Uganda, but he’s not doing that. Today, he thinks he is condemning Kasha, but he could be condemning his own children in future. There are very many children who are growing up and he is pretending to be protecting them, but they could turn out to be like some of us. The issue here is not even recruitment or promotion. For two years, Bahati has been asked by everyone to produce the evidence and he has not produced it. He is just using that to get sympathy from the masses of people in Uganda who are parents – that’s the only reason he has insisted we are recruiting children. He does not have any other argument. Bahati says homosexuality is not considered a human right here in Uganda. Then, they (government) should not have signed all the international treaties because international treaties say do not discriminate against anyone. Homosexuals are human beings, so Uganda is a party to all those human rights treaties that say do not discriminate on any grounds.

Kasha Jacqueline was recently awarded the 2011 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

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