London: Protest due to take place outside Ugandan Commission over anti-gay laws

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Campaigners drawing attention to the plight of persecuted LGBT Ugandans will stage a protest outside the country’s London High Commission this afternoon.

The protest is jointly organised by the African LGBTI Out & Proud Diamond Group and the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

It starts at 5pm and will finish at 7pm, outside Uganda House in London’s Trafalgar Square.

“We are urging the repeal of all Uganda’s anti-gay laws – both the new legislation and the old nineteenth century colonial-era criminalisation of homosexuality,” said Edwin Sesange, director of the Diamond Group.

“The Ugandan Government should work towards building partnerships with other countries that respect human rights, instead of isolating itself with laws that violate international humanitarian statutes,” added Richard Banadda, coordinator of the protest.

“This law is scaring away foreign investors, expatriates, tourists and aid donors. The law also diverts attention from the main problems affecting Uganda, such as poverty and under-resourced medical and educational facilities.

“The prejudiced language the President has used about LGBTI people re-enforced and stirred negative, homophobic opinions.”

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni yesterday accused the West of double standards for criminalising polygamy whilst approving of homosexuality.

He gave assent to a law further criminalising same-sex sexual activity in Uganda last month.

The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

President Museveni defended the legislation by saying that gay people give each other worms through sex.

He also described gay people as “disgusting”.