Saturday, 31 October 2009

Anti-homosexuality Bill being proposed in Uganda

(Ed: A quick 'Google' found this, which is apparently being tabled before the Ugandan Parliament. My immediate personal reaction -since someone is bound to ask -is that it is clearly extreme in places, most obviously in suggesting the death penalty for homosexual acts with an under-18 year old. Why not, I find myself asking, a similar death penalty for adulterers or fornicators?

I also cannot help wondering why this is felt necessary in Ugandan society, when there is already legislation in place. My personal inclination is that in any humanly-ordered society, criminal punishment is inappropriate for sexual impropriety. That which is immoral should not always be illegal.

Nevertheless, I cannot help reflecting that in just forty years our own society has gone from one where homosexual acts were tentatively decriminalized between 'consenting adults in private', to one where objection to homosexual acts is virtually a crime in itself. My advice to the Ugandans, were they to ask, would be 'tread very carefully', but this is not the way to go.)

APRIL 20, 2009
1. The Principle
The object of this Bill is to establish a comprehensive legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting (i) any form of sexual relations between people of the same sex; and (ii) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions as healthy, normal or an acceptable lifestyle, including in the public schools, through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any non- governmental organization inside or outside the country. Research indicates that the homosexuality has a variety of negative consequences including higher incidences of violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and use of drugs. The higher incidence of separation and break-up in homosexual relationships also creates a highly unstable environment for children raised by homosexuals through adoption or otherwise, and can have profound psychological consequences on those children. In addition, the promotion of homosexual behavior undermines our traditional family values.
Given Uganda’s historical, legal, cultural and religious values which maintain that the family, based on marriage between a man and a woman is the basic unit of society. This Bill aims at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family. These threats include: redefining human rights to elevate homosexual and transgender behavior as legally protected categories of people.
This legislation is aimed at halting the advance of the “sexual rights” agenda, which seeks to establish additional legally protected classes based on sexual preferences and behaviors, as well as claims that people have rights based on these preferences and behaviors. Sexual rights activists have created new euphemisms to promote this agenda such as “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” “sexual minorities” and “sexual rights.”
This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic and that people who experience this mental disorder can and have changed to a heterosexual orientation. It also recognizes that because homosexuals are not born that way, but develop this disorder based on experiences and environmental conditions, it is preventable, especially among young people who are most vulnerable to recruitment into the homosexual lifestyle.
The Republic of Uganda needs comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect our cultural, legal, religious, and traditional family values against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on Uganda.
There is also need to protect our children and youths who are made vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviation as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technologies, parentless child developmental settings and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption, foster care, or otherwise.
2. Defects in the existing law.
This legislation is designed to fill the gaps in the provisions of the constitution of Uganda and the penal code Act by establishing that, in Uganda, marriage is only between a man and a woman and that no other sexual unions or relationships will be recognized by the government.
The Penal Code Act (Cap 20) does not directly address this issue of homosexuality. It instead talks about unnatural offenses under section 145. This section does not specifically talk about homosexuality as an offense. It does not even have any reference to homosexuality. Not surprisingly the Act does not have a definition for homosexuality in the definition section.
The Penal Code Act does not explicitly address the issue of same sex unions and gender identity disorders which are damaging the social fabric of our nation at an alarming rate. There are no provisions in the Penal Code Act panelizing the procurement, promotion, disseminating literature and other forms of report for the offenses of homosexuality hence the need for legislation to provide for charging, investigating, prosecuting, convicting and sentencing of offenders on the above law. There is need for equal treatment of man and woman before the law in regard to homosexual offenses.
This legislation comes to complement and supplement the provisions of the Constitution of Uganda and the Penal Code Act by not only criminalizing same sex marriages but same -sex sexual acts and other related acts.
3.1. The objectives of the Bill
The objectives of the Bill are:
(a) To protect marriage as that only between a man and a woman in Uganda;
(b) To prohibit homosexual behavior and related practices in Uganda as they constitute a threat to the traditional family;
(c) To safeguard the health of Ugandan citizens from the negative effects of homosexuality and related practices;
(d) To establish progressive legislation protective of the traditional family that can serve as a model for other countries;
(e) To prohibit ratification of any international treaties, conventions, protocols and declarations which are contrary or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act;
(f) To ensure that no international instruments to which Uganda is already a party can be interpreted or applied in Uganda in a way that was never intended at the time the document was created;
(e) To withdraw from any international agreements to which Uganda already is a party, or file reservations to them, which are re-interpreted to include protection for homosexual behavior, or that promote same-sex marriage, or that call for the promotion or teaching about homosexuality as being healthy, normal, or an acceptable lifestyle choice, or that seek to establish sexual behavior, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or sexual minorities as legally protected categories of people; and
(f) To prohibit Uganda from becoming a party to any new international instruments that expressly include protection for homosexual behavior; promote same-sex marriage; call for the promotion or teaching about homosexuality or homosexual relations as being healthy, normal, or an acceptable lifestyle choice; and/or seek to establish sexual behavior, sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual minorities as legally protected categories of people
3.2. Part 1 of the Bill incorporating clauses 1 and 2 provides for Preliminary matters relating to commencement and Interpretation of the words and phrases used in the Bill
3.3. Part II of the Bill incorporating clause 3 to clause 6 prohibits homosexuality and related practices by introducing the offences of engaging in homosexuality, and the penalties of imprisonment upon conviction. This part also creates offences and penalties for acts that promote homosexuality, failure to report the offence and impose a duty on the Community to report Suspected Cases of homosexuality.
3.4. Part III of the Bill incorporating of clause 7 to clauses 9 provides for the jurisdiction of Ugandan Courts in Case of Homosexuality, including extra territorial Jurisdiction.
3.5. Part IV of the Bill incorporating clauses 10 and 11 provides for miscellaneous provisions on International Treaties, Protocols, Declarations and Conventions and the Minister to make regulations to give effect to the Act.
4. Schedule 1 of the Bill gives the value of the currency.
Hon. David Bahati
MP, Ndorwa County West
1. Commencement
2. Interpretation
3. Offence of Homosexuality
4. Aggravated Homosexuality
5. Promoting Homosexuality
6. Failure to report offence

7. Jurisdiction
8. Extra – territorial Jurisdiction
9. Extradition
10. International treaties
11. Regulations
Schedule 1
Currency point.
1 – Commencement
This Act shall come into force upon publication in the Gazette.

2 - Interpretation
In this Act, unless the Context otherwise requires –
“Gender” means male or female;
“Homosexuality” means same gender or same sex sexual acts;
“Homosexual” means a person who engages or attempts to engage in same gender sexual activity.
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Ethics and Integrity.

 “Sexual act” means –
(a) Stimulation or penetration of a vagina or mouth or anus or any part of the body, however slight of any person by a sexual organ;
(b) The use of any object or organ by a person on another person’s sexual organ or anus or mouth;
“Sexual organ” means-a vagina or penis.

3. Prohibition of homosexuality
(1) Homosexuality is prohibited.
(2) Any person who engages in homosexuality contrary to sub-section (1) commits an offense and on conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding 500 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both.
4. Aggravated homosexuality
(1) Any person who commits the offense mentioned in section 3 above with another person who is below the age of 18 years in any of the circumstances specified in sub-section (2) of this section commits the offense and on conviction is liable to suffer death.
(2) The circumstances referred to in sub-section (1) are as follows: -
(a) Where the person against whom the offense is committed is below the age of 14;
(b) Where the offender is infected with HIV;
(c) Where the offender is a parent or guardian or a person in authority over, the person against whom the offense is committed;
(d) Where the victim of the offense is a person with disability; or
(e) Where the offender is a serial offender.
(3) Any person who attempts to commit the offense of homosexuality with another person below 18 years in any of the circumstances specifies in sub-section (2), commits an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.
(4) Where a person is charged with the offense under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.
(5) Any person who without the consent of an adult victim being under their authority or not commits the offense mentioned in this section
5. Promotion of homosexuality
(1) Any person who,
(a) Participates in production, trafficking, procuring, marketing, broadcasting, disseminating, publishing homosexual materials;
(b) Funds or sponsors homosexuality and related activities
(c) Offers premises and other fixed or movable assets
(d) Uses electronic devices which include internet, films, mobile phone and
(f) Who acts as an accomplice or attempts to legitimize or in any way abets homosexuality and related practices
Commits an offense and on conviction is liable to a fine of five thousand currency points or imprisonment of atleast five years or both.

(2) Where the offender is a corporate body or a business or an association or a Non-governmental organization conviction its Certificate of Registration shall be cancelled and the Director(s) or proprietors or promoter(s) shall be criminally liable.
6. Failure to report the offense
Any person who being aware of the commission of any offense under this Act omits to report the offense to the relevant authorities within 24 hours commits an offense and on conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred currency points or imprisonment not exceeding six months year.
7. Jurisdiction.
Save for aggravated homosexuality which shall be tried by the High Court, other offenses under this Act shall be tried by the Magistrates Court.
8. Extra – Territorial Jurisdiction.
This Act shall apply to offences Committed outside Uganda Where-
(1) A person who, while being a citizen of, or permanently residing in Uganda, Commits an act Outside Uganda, which act would Constitute an offence had it been Committed in Uganda.
(2) The offence was committed partly outside and or partly in Uganda.
9. Extradition.
A person charged with offence under this Act shall be liable to extradition under the existing Extradition laws.
10. Nullification of inconsistent International treaties, protocols, declarations and conventions.
(1). Any international legal instrument whose provisions are contradictory to the spirit and provisions enshrined in this Act, are null and void to the extent of their inconsistency.
(2). The foreign definitions of “sexual orientation”, “sexual rights”, “sexual minorities”, “gender identity” shall not be used in anyway to legitimize homosexuality, gender identity disorders and related practices in Uganda.

11. Regulations.
The Minister may by statutory instrument make regulations to effect implementation of the provisions of this Act, and Promote the objects of this Act.

One currency point is equivalent to twenty thousand Shillings.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Chelmsford Diocesan Evangelical Association Meeting, November 7th


Press Release from Affirming Catholicism

The current debate about the implications of the offer made by his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to make provision for Anglicans who wish to join the Roman Catholic Church ignores one important fact. The majority of catholics within the church are in favour of women’s ministry and wish to remain loyal to the Anglican tradition within the Anglican Communion.

The Society of Catholic Priests, which has over 500 members in this country and is about to establish chapters in the American Episcopal Church and in Australia, and Affirming Catholicism which draws together clergy and laity in this country and throughout the Anglican Communion, are committed to the catholic nature and teaching of the Church of England. We are actively working to see women ordained to the episcopate and hold that this is entirely consistent with the teaching of the church and the historic nature of our orders. We are also convinced that the issues of human sexuality should not be ones that divide the church.

To suggest that the departure from the Church of England of those who hold more conservative views will remove the catholic wing and tradition from the church is entirely wrong. Churches and parishes which have a catholic tradition and are served by priests, both male and female, are growing and flourishing and look forward to the future with enthusiasm.

We welcome the offer made by the Pope to those of our brothers and sisters who no longer feel that the Anglican Communion is their spiritual home. We hope that this will not impede swift progress in the Church of England towards the ordination of the first women bishops in this land. See here
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Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Hans Kung: The Vatican thirst for power divides Christianity and damages Catholicism

After Pope Benedict XVI's offences against the Jews and the Muslims, Protestants and reform-oriented Catholics, it is now the turn of the Anglican communion, which encompasses some 77 million members and is the third largest Christian confession after the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches. Having brought back the extreme anti-reformist faction of the Pius X fraternity into the fold, Pope Benedict now hopes to fill up the dwindling ranks of the Catholic church with Anglicans sympathetic to Rome. Their conversion to the Catholic church is supposed to be made easier: Anglican priests and bishops shall be allowed to retain their standing, even when married. Traditionalists of the churches, unite! Under the cupola of St Peter's! The Fisher of Men is angling in waters of the extreme religious right. Read more
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Monday, 26 October 2009

Grandmother who objected to gay march is accused of hate crime

After witnessing a gay pride march, committed Christian Pauline Howe wrote to the council to complain that the event had been allowed to go ahead.

But instead of a simple acknowledgement, she received a letter warning her she might be guilty of a hate crime and that the matter had been passed to police.

Two officers later turned up at the frightened grandmother's home and lectured her about her choice of words before telling her she would not be prosecuted.
Threatened with prosecution: Pensioner Pauline Howe was warned she might be guilty of a hate crime after complaining about a gay rally

Threatened with prosecution: Pensioner Pauline Howe was warned she might be guilty of a hate crime after complaining about a gay rally

Mrs Howe, 67, whose husband Peter is understood to be a Baptist minister, yesterday spoke of her shock at the visit and accused police of ' wasting resources' on her case rather than fighting crime.

'I've never been in any kind of trouble before so I was stunned to have two police officers knocking at my door,' she said.

'Their presence in my home made me feel threatened. It was a very unpleasant experience.

'The officers told me that my letter was thought to be an intention of hate but I was expressing views as a Christian.'

Mrs Howe's case has been taken up by the Christian Institute, which is looking into potential breaches of freedom of speech and religious rights under the Human Rights Act, either by Norwich City Council or Norfolk Police.

And homosexual equality pressure group Stonewall has branded the authorities' response ' disproportionate'.

Read more

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Girls accept gun running and rape as price of joining violent male gangs

Teenage girls wanting to join violent male gangs are being forced into having sex and ferrying guns, knives and drugs, police and charities have found.

The girls, some as young as 13, want to join gangs to raise their own profile or to seek protection. Often they are swayed by the status given to the senior members of the gang.

When they first join they are told they must have sex with one member of the gang — and then find several of the gang waiting for them.

What has shocked welfare workers is that the girls accept the situation as normal and do not appreciate that they are being violated.

The girls are also being asked to store and transport guns, knives and drugs for the male members of the gang and police have evidence that girls are taking guns direct to killers and then disposing of the weapons once someone has been shot. Read more
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Sunday, 25 October 2009

Senior Anglican bishop reveals he is ready to convert to Roman Catholicism

Ed: The Bishop of Chichester has now formally denied this, saying it arose from a misunderstanding. What he said was "in the event of union with the Roman Catholic Church I would be willing to receive re-ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood but that I would not be willing to deny the priesthood I have exercised hitherto."

The Rt Rev John Hind, the Bishop of Chichester, has announced he is considering becoming a Roman Catholic in a move that could spark an exodus of clergy.

Bishop Hind said he would be "happy" to be reordained as a Catholic priest and said that divisions in Anglicanism could make it impossible to stay in the church.

He is the most senior Anglican to admit that he is prepared to accept the offer from the Pope, who shocked the Church of England last week when he paved the way for clergy to convert to Catholicism in large numbers.

In a further blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury's hopes of preventing the Anglican Communion from disintegrating, other bishops have cast doubt over its survival.

The Rt Rev John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, even claimed that "the Anglican experiment is over". He said it has been shown to be powerless to cope with the crises over gays and women bishops.

In one of the most significant developments since the Reformation, the Pope last week announced that a new structure would be set up to allow disaffected Anglicans to enter full communion with Rome, while maintaining parts of their Protestant heritage.

The move comes after secret talks between the Vatican and a group of senior Anglican bishops. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was not informed of the meetings and his advisers even denied that they had taken place when the Sunday Telegraph broke the story last year.

Now Bishop Hind, the most senior traditionalist in the Church of England, has confirmed that he is willing to sacrifice his salary and palace residence to defect to the Catholic Church. Read more
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