For some time, the human rights community and progressive blogosphere have drawn attention to the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. Crafted by Ugandan MP David Bahati and introduced to parliament in 2009, the bill proposes draconian penalties for same-sex sexual activity, "aiding and abetting homosexuality," and "promoting homosexuality." Furthermore, efforts by several American Religious Right figures to foment homophobia in Uganda provide an ominous backdrop to the situation. According to Reuters, Ugandan parliament struck down an attempt to reintroduce the bill last week, but some fear that the world has not seen the last of it. Fortunately, a new voice has emerged to condemn the anti-gay bill.
OneFamilyOneVoice is a new lobby group formed by Ugandan ex-patriots living in the U.S., according to the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. According to the group's website, the mission of OneFamilyOneVoice is "to promote understanding about diversity in the human family and to raise awareness about needless crimes against humanity." The organization arose out of concern about the anti-gay bill and the perceived need for a clear voice from the Ugandan-American community.
OneFamilyOneVoice proposes three courses of action in response to the bill: (1) shed light on strategies to pass the anti-gay bill without the global community's knowledge, (2) work in cooperation with other groups to eliminate the bill and prevent the adoption of similar bills by other African countries, and (3) create a voice to empower and educate leaders about diversity. As the world watches Uganda, groups such as OneFamilyOneVoice will undoubtedly monitor the status of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill closely.
To learn more about OneFamilyOneVoice, click here.