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article imageGay children could be hanged in Uganda, says UK campaigner

By Andrew John     Feb 16, 2010 in World
A leading UK gay human-rights campaigner is urging the country’s Scout Association to act in the case of Uganda, where the leader of the scout movement is demanding the execution of all scouts and scout leaders who commit repeated homosexual acts.
Peter Tatchell of the UK gay-rights group OutRage! says that the chief of the Scout Board of Uganda, David Bahati – who is also a Ugandan MP and is sponsoring the Anti-Homosexuality Bill – is proposing that all serial "homosexual offenders," including scouts and scout leaders, should be hanged, even children.*
“His Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is currently before the Ugandan Parliament, stipulates the death penalty for repeat same-sex relations and life imprisonment for all other homosexual acts, even for mere kissing, touching or caressing,” says Tatchell.
“Scout leaders who fail to report gay scouts to the police will face three years in jail. Any scout leader who provides supportive advice to a gay scout will be jailed for five to seven years.”
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, he says, is an expression of “prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and violence” and is contrary to scout principles.
Tatchell has written on behalf of OutRage! to the chief executive of the Scout Association UK, Derek Twine.
“Mr Twine has already referred OutRage!’s concerns to the General Secretary of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement,” says Tatchell in a news release.
“I have asked the Scout Association UK to press the world scouting movement to disaffiliate the scout organisation of Uganda, on the grounds that its leader has violated scouting values by proposing the execution of gay people, including gay Ugandan scouts and scout leaders,” he adds.
“My letter calls on the British scout organisation to condemn Mr Bahati and his Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and to refuse to host him again in the UK.
“The British and world scouting movement cannot remain silent, given this threat to kill its members in Uganda. They must break all links with the Ugandan scout organisation while it remains under the leadership of David ‘kill the gays’ Bahati.
“The international scout movement has a duty to defend its values of universal respect, equality and brotherhood,” Tatchell concludes.
* Since this story was uploaded, Tatchell has retracted the specific allegation that Bahati is targeting children. He says in a clarification on Feb. 17: “I should have made it clear that Mr Bahati was not explicitly calling for the execution of gay scouts and scout leaders. His Bill proposes the execution of gay serial offenders, which could, of course, include gay scout members. But his Bill does not target gay scouts in particular and he has not specifically called for the execution of scouts who are gay. The threat to gay scouts in Uganda is implicit, not explicit.”
More about Peter tatchell, Gay, Uganda, Sexuality
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