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Canada Urges Uganda to Reconsider Draft Anti-Homosexuality Bill

(No. 381 – December 11, 2009 – 7:30 a.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today urged the Government of Uganda to reconsider its offensive anti-homosexuality bill recently introduced in the country’s parliament.

“Canada calls on Uganda to respect its obligations under international human rights law, ensuring equal enjoyment of rights for all its citizens,” said Minister Cannon.

“The draft bill is deplorable and disregards basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. Uganda has already criminalized homosexuality, and this bill would deepen that oppression, imposing severe penalties, including the death penalty and life imprisonment. The Government of Uganda must protect all Ugandans, regardless of sexual orientation, from discrimination and abuse.”

In November, Prime Minister Stephen Harper raised Canada’s deep concern and strong opposition to the bill when he met with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago. 

The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Canadian foreign policy. Canada has clearly spoken out against human rights violations committed against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates international human rights treaties to which Uganda is a party.

The Government of Canada supports freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada