Home' LOTL : February 2010 Contents 8 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Letters / Local / Global / Gossip
Uganda's ethics minister Hames Nsaba Buturo said that
the President of Uganda, Yoweri Moseveni, opposes the
death penalty for gays. Buturo went on to say that the
provision was likely to be removed from the country's
controversial anti-homosexuality bill, recommending
reparative therapy instead. According to the Canadian
Press, Buturo said, "The death penalty is likely to be
removed. The president doesn't believe in killing gays. I
also don't believe in it. I think gays can be counselled and
they stop the bad habit."
Mary Karoro Okurut, a spokeswoman for the ruling party,
said, "Although the President is against some parts of the
bill, the bill has to stay. [Homosexuality] is not allowed in
African culture. We have to protect the children in schools
who are being recruited into homosexual activities." The
bill is expected to come before Parliament in late February
or early March. The international community has reacted
strongly to the bill, and the criticism has come from
human rights groups, politicians, and church leaders.
A UK charity, the Albert Kennedy Trust, that helps homeless
LGBT young people has said it has seen an increase in the
numbers of gay Muslims eeing from forced marriages
and family violence.
Trust worker Annie Southerst told the BBC that gay
Muslims "face threats of physical violence, actual violence
and restriction of liberties. We've had people chased out
of the house with knives and we have had issues around
young people who had exorcisms planned to get rid of the
gay demons, I suppose. They come to us because they're
homeless, or in danger of being homeless imminently. We
sort out emergency accommodation for them."
Suni, a 20-year-old visitor to the charity's weekly drop-in
session in London, told the BBC he had been imprisoned
at his family's remote home in Pakistan for three months
after his parents suspected he was gay. Suni said he had
been beaten by his family, who thought making him marry
a woman would cure him of homosexuality. He escaped
and returned to the UK homeless and penniless, though
survived through the help of the charity.
Portugal's parliament recently passed
a bill that would make the country,
a predominantly Catholic nation, the sixth in
Europe to permit gay marriage. It is thought
that the President, conser vative Anibal Cavaco
Silva, is not expected to veto the bill, which
won support of all left-of-centre parties. If the
bill is ratified, the first gay marriage could take
place in April - one month before Pope Ben-
edict XVI is due to visit Portugal.
The bill removes a reference in the current
law to marriage being between two people of
different sexes. Prime Minister Jose Socrates
said, "It's a slight change to the law, it's true.
But it is a very important and symbolic step
towards fully ensuring respect for values that
are essential in any democratic, open and toler-
ant society: the values of freedom, equality and
non-discrimination.'' The legalisation of gay
marriage is also part of the effort to modernise
Portugal. After the bill passed, gay rights cam-
paigners applauded, hugged and kissed out-
side the building and celebrated with cake and
champagne. Gay marriage is currently permit-
ted in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Swe-
den and Nor way. Canada, South Africa and six
U.S. states also permit it.
Pope calls gay marriage laws an "attack"
Portugal passes gay marriage
The Holy See, Vatican City
Speaking just after Portugal voted
to legalise same-sex marriage,
Pope Benedict XVI called gay marriage laws an
"attack" on the natural differences between
men and women. When speaking about
environmental issues, the Pope spoke about
protecting endangered creatures - including
humans - and said, "One such attack comes from
laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting
discrimination, strike at the biological basis of
the difference between the sexes."
AND IN OTHER NEWS...
Pope Benedict XVI
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