Iceland To Take Diplomatic Hard Line Against Uganda

15.11.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that they will do everything in their power to fight against proposed legislation in Uganda that would make homosexuality a capital offence.

Uganda has gained global attention for vicious attacks against the LGBT community there, but also because of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Submitted to Ugandan parliament in 2009 by MP David Bahati, the bill seeks to toughen existing laws prohibiting homosexuality in the country. If passed, the bill would give authorities the power to imprison those engaging in homosexuality, with the death penalty for repeat offenders. Furthermore, people would be compelled to report on homosexuality within 24 hours or face up to three years in prison, and Ugandan citizens engaging in homosexual activity abroad would face extradition requests.

Rebecca Kadaga, the president of Ugandan parliament, told reporters recently that she expects legislation which would make homosexuality in Uganda a capital crime to pass, and that most Ugandans will support it. Iceland, though, is not remaining silent on the issue, Vísir reports.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson told reporters, "Iceland will do everything in its power to fight against the bill. It is a very troublesome and tragic bill that is polluted with the prejudice that brought into being."

Össur said that Iceland is not alone in this position, either. Many western European nations have met with Ugandan authorities in attempts to pressure them to forego the legislation.

What measures Iceland could and may take was not specified.

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