Canadian MPs call for withdrawal of Uganda's anti-gay bill
During daily proceedings after Question Period in the House of Commons today, NDP MP Bill Siksay presented a motion on the topic of Uganda. The motion read:
That this House commends the Government of Canada for the clear position it has taken against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently being debated in the Parliament of Uganda and encourages continued direct diplomatic efforts in conjunction with other countries and organizations to see the bill withdrawn, homosexuality fully decriminalized in Uganda, and the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual Ugandans fully respected.
Motions like these need the unanimous consent of the House to pass, which means a single "nay" could kill it.
The motion passed unanimously.
Shortly thereafter, Siksay released a statement on the passage of the motion.
"I very much appreciate the co-operation of the Conservative Party, the Bloc Québecois and the Liberal Party. All parties in the House worked together to take a stand against this regressive bill and in solidarity with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual community in Uganda," said Siksay. "Given this strong all-party commitment to GLBTT rights, I hope that the government will continue to pursue this issue at all possible levels."
"This bill is an attack on human rights and civil liberties. Canada must continue to do all it can to see that it is withdrawn," concluded Siksay.
(UPDATE: Xtra's federal politics reporter Dale spoke to Siksay following the passage of the motion. Read how Siksay got unanimous support and what's next for Canada's efforts to stop Uganda's anti-gay bill.)
In November 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper privately spoke to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni about the anti-gay bill. Though the bill has not yet been stopped, Museveni has acknowledged the international pressure from Western leaders, including Harper, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British PM Gordon Brown.
Xtra caught up with Siksay at a recent Toronto fundraiser for queer Ugandans. Watch the video:
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