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Civil Rights v. Immigration: When the Law Collides

As strides are continually made in the civil rights movement for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans, citizens from some foreign countries who are temporarily the United States are finding themselves in tough positions.  The post that follows is a submission from an anonymous

“A person who commits the offense of homosexuality… shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life,” states Part II Section 2 of the current Anti Homosexuality Act that recently passed the Ugandan Parliament in December 2013.  Section 3,  titled “Aggravated Homosexuality,” states that “a person who commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.”

As a gay Ugandan student who is about to graduate from school here in the United States,  I don’t even know where to begin with this law.  Even as I go to school in the US, there is no protection because the bill also has an extradition clause.  Section 17 of Part IV states in relevant part, “ a person charged with an offense under this Act shall be liable to extradition under the existing laws.” Further  Part V section 18 of the bill declares that “any international legal instrument whose provisions are contradictory to the spirit and provisions in this Act , are null and void to the extent of their inconsistency.” So, I can really be extradited back to Uganda and potentially face life imprisonment?

But maybe my friends back in Uganda can hide me?  Or I can hide in some part of the country where no one can find me?  Well that’s too bad for me.   Part III section 7 states that, “a person who aids, abets, counsels, or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.”  This means that any help rendered to me in anyway can technically be considered to be “aiding” and “abetting “homosexuality.  But maybe I can confide in my parents or a therapist back in Uganda as I endure the terror?   Well, looks like my parents and the therapist have to report me to the authorities within 24 hours under the law.  Section 14 of Part III stipulates that, “a person in authority who being aware of the commission of any offense under this Act, omits to report the offense within 24 hours” is liable on conviction to imprisonment not exceeding three years.  So my family, my friends, my physician and my neighbors have to turn me into the police or they risk 3 years in Jail.  I can’t even visit or live in my parent’s home.   Section 11 Part III of the bill further stipulates that “a person who keeps a house, room, set of rooms of any kind for purposes of homosexuality” is liable on conviction to 7 years.  Who will be willing to let me visit them without risking 7 years?  Does my parents’ house count?  Section 14 goes further to state that, “s person in authority who being aware of the commission of any offense under this Act , omits to report the offense within 24 hours” is liable on conviction to imprisonment not exceeding three years .  So my friends, my physician, my therapist and my parents have to report me within 24 hours or they can get 3 years ?  So really,  that is my fate .

 

ANONYMOUS