Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, and Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, have sent the following letter to The Guardian and The Independent.
It is deeply ironic that as people around the world prepare to celebrate diversity and equality ahead of next week’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), the Ugandan Parliament is set to debate its brutally intolerant Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
The proposed legislation would broaden the criminalisation of homosexuality by prescribing the death penalty and life imprisonment for those convicted, further entrenching hatred and prejudice against the LGBT community. Criminalising people’s sexual orientation or gender identity is morally reprehensible and contradicts everything that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stands for. As a member of the international community, it is the duty of the Ugandan government to safeguard the rights of all Ugandans, regardless of sexual orientation and without exception.
This frightening attempt to persecute a minority serves as a stark reminder that while the UK and many other countries have made significant progress in creating equality before the law, thousands of citizens all over the world still suffer homophobic attacks, abuse, mistreatment and discrimination. We all have a role to play in creating a society in which this kind of intolerance and violence is rejected outright and we urge the Uganda Parliament to reject this heinous law without delay.
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England