PMO Plagiarises States’ Ugandan Condemnation Over Gay Bill

November 27th, 2009

Simon says...

Uganda is on the verge of passing one of the most homophobic pieces of legislation in history. The law would not only proscribe the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” (say, that’s a new term), but would also imprison anyone who doesn’t out a gay person to the police within 24 hours of discovering their sexual orientation. The prison sentence would last three years, but there’s also a seven year prison term for anyone who defends the rights of gay and lesbian people.

Several governments have gone on record to condemn this atrocious bill, including Canada’s own Prime Minister’s Office. I don’t think the PMO put much effort into the condemnation, mind you, as it was stolen word-for-word from one issued by the United States several weeks ago.

Here’s the U.S. version:

If adopted, a bill further criminalizing homosexuality would constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda. We urge states to take all necessary measures to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests, or detention.

And the Canadian one: (Identical phrases are in bold)

If adopted, a bill further criminalizing homosexuality would constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda. Canada has clearly spoken out against human-rights violations committed against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and we urge states to take all necessary measures to ensure that sexual orientation and gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests, or detention.

Of course, regardless of the PMO’s lack of imagination, condemnation was the exactly right thing to do. Here’s hoping that world governments do more than just verbally condemn Uganda’s Orwellian bill, and see to it that this horrific violation of human rights is put to an end immediately.