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Posts Tagged ‘Uganda’

IB imageSnapshots of law, gender and sexuality news from the past couple of weeks

Uganda’s Anti-Gay Act Signed into Law

Jesse Bachir, Durham University

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed the now infamous anti-gay bill into law this week amidst great protest from human rights groups and western countries. Since then, many countries have announced reviews of their aid policies regarding Uganda. Notably, the Netherlands will stop sending $9.6 million in aid to assist with Uganda’s courts, while Norway and Denmark will be giving a combined $17 million to NGOs and human rights organizations operating in Uganda, rather than as aid directly to the country. The US has also announced that it will be reviewing its diplomatic relations with Uganda, including a review of its aid policies, which amount to $400 million per year.

The law criminalises gay sex and same-sex marriage and provides for life imprisonment for so-called ‘aggravated homosexuality’, which is defined as any sexual relations with someone of the same sex more than once, with a child, with a disabled person, or where one individual is HIV positive.

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Today marks the seventh International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, or IDAHO. Since 2005, IDAHO has been observed on 17th May to commemorate the date of the World Health Organisation’s decision to remove homosexuality from its list of recognised psychiatric disorders.

For some commentators, IDAHO 2011 was an opportunity to celebrate the progress on gay and trans rights across the globe. Demonstrating the changing cultural landscape for LGBT people in the West, Lady Gaga took over editorial control of the international newspaper group Metro for IDAHO, illustrating too the potential power of celebrity endorsements of LGBT rights. In one Metro article published under Gaga’s careful supervision, Cary Alan Johnson, executive director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, noted the “huge progress” already made towards greater LGBT equality world-wide.

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