Contracting HIV used to deemed a death sentence. If you are gay and HIV-positive in Uganda, you might officially receive the death penalty.
Honestly, this seems unbelievable. Unfortunately, it’s not.
Proposed legislation would mandate a death sentence for “active homosexuals living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape,” MSNBC reported. Anyone convicted of a homosexual act faces life in prison. (Ashby Jones of the WSJ Law Blog noted the potential legislation here.)
Friends and family could also face seven years in prison for failing to report people who fall under the law to authorities; even landlords can go to jail for renting to homosexuals.
Gay-rights activists say the bill could set back efforts to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS and they believe it is in response to the gay community in Africa becoming increasingly vocal.
The proposal for the law was made after a group of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that believe therapy can make homosexuals heterosexual visited Uganda. At least one of those leaders, MSNBC said, has denounced the bill.
The bill could of course undergo changes before a vote, but the international gay-rights community is protesting the legistlation — an event will be held in London Thursday and protests already occurred in New York and Washington last month. No date has been set for the vote.
UNICEF statistics say that, as of 2007, 5.4% of the adault Ugandan population was HIV positive.
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