Simon Lokodo, Uganda’s ethics minister, has resumed his verbal campaign against LGBT rights organizations, pledging to shut down groups that promote LGBT equality.
But Frank Mugisha, leader of the gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), said Lokodo won’t succeed in any attempt to close organizations on the basis of their position about homosexuality.
“He would not have any evidence that what they are doing is against the law. Our constitution is very, very clear on the rights of freedom of expression and assembly,” Mugisha told Gay Star News. ‘If he dares to do that, we will go after him in the courts of law.”
Lokodo, a former Catholic priest, made his comments in an interview with the Ugandan publication The Independent.
He has a mixed record in opposition to Ugandan groups seeking to end harassment and discrimination against LGBT people. In the first half of 2012, he:
- arranged for police to break up two LGBT-friendly meetings in February 2012 and on June 18, 2012;
- announced that 38 gay-friendly organizations will be banned; and
- threatened legal action against a proposed interfaith Compass to Compassion conference at which religious and political leaders would discuss the effects of the country’s laws against homosexuality.
But he was then reined in and forced to sign a government statement of June 22, 2012, saying that Uganda does not discriminate against people of a different sexual orientations.
“No government official is (supposed) to harass any section of the community and everybody in Uganda enjoys the freedom to lawfully assemble and associate freely with others,” the statement said.
- Uganda’s ethics minister threatens to ban charities for supporting gay rights (pinknews.co.uk)
- Uganda threatens to ban charities supporting LGBT rights (Gay Star News)
- Voice from Uganda: ‘They don’t think gays are people.’ (76crimes.com)
- Harassed Ugandan lesbian ‘optimistic in the face of struggles’ (76crimes.com)
- LGBTs are a community , not imported (sendson04.wordpress.com)
- Positive steps in Ugandan fight against AIDS among LGBTs (76crimes.com)