According to Warren Throckmorton, a Christian psychologist and blogger covering Uganda's efforts to criminalize homosexuality, Ugandan Member of Parliament David Bahati is set to attend a December 6-8 conference in D.C. held by the International Consortium on Government Financial Management. The conference is set to take place at the Enrique Iglesias Conference Center at the Inter-American Development Bank.
Throckmorton spoke to Bahati in mid-November. At the time, Bahati said that his Anti-Homosexuality Bill would not face a vote in parliament until after February 2011 elections. But Bahati is still very confident that the bill will pass.
"Bahati said that due to the upcoming elections no significant legislative work is anticipated. He continues to believe that the bill will be considered and debated in Parliament after the elections," Throckmorton reports. "Mr. Bahati said that the delay should not be taken as a sign of lack of support by the committee chair or his peers in the Ugandan Parliament."
So there you have it. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill -- which would criminalize homosexuality with the death penalty or life imprisonment, and even throw in jail straight people who work on behalf of LGBT rights, or straight people who do not disclose to the government people they know who are LGBT -- won't become law before February 2011. But it is still very much on the table, and something that Bahati continues to champion every chance he gets.
And the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management, as well as all their sponsors for the upcoming December 6-8 conference, are comfortable with someone like Bahati attending?
Indeed, the conference is sponsored by a cadre of corporate players. There's Grant Thornton, an international accounting and consulting firm; Casals & Associates, an international development company; FreeBalance, a global software solutions company; Mosley & Associates, a management consulting outfit; and Graduate School, a worldwide group running government-centered education programs. These corporate cats are all OK with having their name attached to a conference where a politician like Bahati, who wants to literally kill gay people and look straight allies in jail, will participate?
That's hard to believe. Send these companies a message that their name shouldn't be attached to anything that a politician like Bahati is participating in, and send a message to the organizers of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management that they should not welcome the participation of Bahati. This is a man who, if his legislation passes, would stand by and let a genocide against LGBT people take place in his country. He does not belong at the table of world political and business leaders.
Petition text -
I recently became aware that a controversial Uganda politician, David Bahati, is slated to attend a conference being held by the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management, and co-sponsored by Grant Thornton, Casals & Associates, FreeBalance, Mosley and Associates, and the Graduate School. Mr. Bahati's participation in this conference deeply troubles me, and I wanted to let you know some information about this Uganda Member of Parliament.
Bahati is the chief sponsor of legislation in Uganda known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This is a piece of legislation that would institute the death penalty for gays and lesbians, as well as prison sentences for straight people who support gay rights. It has been condemned by leaders around the world, yet that hasn't stopped Bahati's desire to pass it. Indeed, as recent as two weeks ago, Bahati said he was determined to pass this law, and hoped to do so as early as February 2011.
If the reports are true that Bahati is attending this conference, this would be a grave injustice. Letting Bahati attend such a prominent gathering of world political and business leaders only legitimizes his stature. Furthermore, it welcomes someone who would approve of genocide toward gays and lesbians into this country. It's distracting for your conference, and demoralizing for the work of so many to stop the campaign of terror against gays and lesbians in Uganda.
I urge you to make sure David Bahati is not welcome at your conference. No business should have their name attached to an event that welcomes someone like Bahati at the table. His is a campaign to terrorize gay people in Uganda, and this campaign should not be rewarded with a plum spot at American conferences.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
[Your name here]