Category Archives: religion

The Death Penalty for Gays in Uganda

Dear friends,

In hours, Uganda could pass a law that could impose the death penalty for homosexuality. An international outcry shelved this bill last year — we urgently need to ramp up the pressure to press President Museveni to stand up for human rightsand stop this brutal law. Sign below, and tell everyone:

Sign the petition

The Ugandan Parliament is set to pass a brutal law that could carry the death penalty for homosexuality. If they do,thousands of Ugandans could face execution — just for being gay.

We’ve helped stop this bill before, and we can do it again. After a massive global outcry last year, Ugandan President Museveni blocked the bill’s progress. But political unrest is mounting in Uganda, and religious extremists in Parliament are hoping confusion and violence in the streets will distract the international community from a second push to pass this hate-filled law. We can show them that the world is still watching.

We have no time to lose. Let’s get one million voices against Uganda’s gay death penalty in the next 24 hours — we’ll deliver it to Uganda’s leaders and key countries. Click here to take action, then forward this email to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_stop_gay_death_law/?beYnkdb&v=19438

Being gay in Uganda is already dangerous and terrifying. LGBT Ugandans are regularly harassed and beaten, and just last year gay rights activist David Kato (pictured above) was brutally murdered in his own home. Now they are threatened by this draconian law which could impose life imprisonment for people convicted of same-sex relations, and the death penalty for “serial offenders”. Even NGOs working to prevent the spread of HIV can be imprisoned for “promoting homosexuality” under this hate-filled law.

Right now, Uganda is in political turmoil — missing millions of aid money has embroiled the Parliament in scandal.This upheaval has provided religious extremists in Parliament the perfect chance to slip in the shelved anti-gay bill, calling it a “Christmas gift” to Ugandans.

President Museveni backed away from this bill before, after international pressure threatened Uganda’s support. Let’s build a million strong petition to stop the gay death penalty bill again, and save lives. We only have hours — sign below, then tell friends and family:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_stop_gay_death_law/?beYnkdb&v=19438

Last time, our international petition condemning the gay death penalty law was delivered to Parliament – spurring a global news story and enough pressure to block the bill for months. When a tabloid newspaper published 100 names, pictures and addresses, of suspected gays and those identified were threatened, Avaaz supported a legal case against the paper and we won! Together we have stood up, time and time again, for Uganda’s gay community — now they need us more than ever.

With hope and determination,

Emma, Iain, Alice, Luis, Ricken, Joseph, Michelle and the whole Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION

Kadaga wants anti-gay Bill tabled (Daily Monitor)
http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Kadaga-wants-anti-gay-Bill-tabled/-/688334/1621218/-/j0h230z/-/index.html

Ugandan Parliament to debate anti-gay bill (AFP)
http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/15453168/ugandan-parliament-to-debate-anti-gay-bill/

Order paper Tuesday 20th November 2012 (Parliament of Uganda)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/114102346/PARLIAMENT-OF-UGANDA-Order-paper-Tuesday-20th-November-2012

Pulling Out All the Stops to Push an Antigay Bill (New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/world/africa/14uganda.html

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Chaplains in Australian Schools. Stop this abhorrent program!

Urgent – Lobby Greens to Uphold High Court Challenge Ruling on Chaplaincy

National School Chaplaincy/High Court Challenge Update:

This is urgent. It would be great if everyone could get behind this today and promote it to your own networks. This is the time to mobilise folks.

The Federal government announced last night they are going to pass legislation to circumvent the High Court ruling on funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program. This is a cynical, underhanded move which, I imagine, won’t impress the High Court at all. It is not at all clear that this attempt to snub the ruling won’t end the government back in the High Court, but we have to wait to see their legislation first.

What we can do immediately, although it won’t overturn the legislation, is try to get the Greens to stand up in Parliament and oppose it – or at least demand amendments to the program. This will get publicity about what is going on and shine a spotlight on what the government is doing. But we need *you* and your networks to help.

As a matter of urgency, please send an email to the following list:

senator.milne@aph.gov.au, adam.bandt.mp@aph.gov.au, senator.dinatale@aph.gov.au, senator.hanson-young@aph.gov.au,
senator.ludlam@aph.gov.au, senator.rhiannon@aph.gov.au, senator.siewert@aph.gov.au, senator.waters@aph.gov.au, senator.wright@aph.gov.au, senator.whish-wilson@aph.gov.au

Here is a sample letter. You can use your own words if you like, but please use the three dot points as they appear so we present a cohesive message.

Subject: Funding – National School Chaplaincy Program

Dear Senators and Mr. Bandt

You will be aware the ALP are planning to rush legislation through parliament to subvert the High Court decision in Willams v the Commonwealth and Ors.

This is an opportunity for the Greens to hold the government to account. The High Court has made a ruling which provides a greater level of public accountability and now the ALP – undoubtedly with the support of the coalition – intend to circumvent that ruling through legislation.

This is an opportunity for the Greens to make a public stand for some incredibly important issues, including public accountability, separation of church and state and our children’s right to a secular public education system.

I would be grateful if the Greens would represent my views in respect to this matter. They are as follows:

1) I do not support the Howard-Gillard program that supplies chaplains of any faith in Australia’s public schools, and I urge you to prevent the continuation of chaplains in today’s forthcoming legislation.

2) If we are to have Commonwealth assistance supplied to schools in this manner then I am firmly of the view that they must be fully qualified as school counsellors, which means they are qualified teachers with a degree in psychology and postgraduate qualifications in school counselling, and nothing less can do.

3) It is time to stop outsourcing this work to third party contractors and these fully qualified school counsellors must all be employed as public servants in the relevant Education departments in each state and territory in order to ensure some high level of confidence in their training, integrity and the outcomes.

Yours sincerely

Government

Government

Like most mammals, humans are social animals and, like them, we’re also individuals so we require strong leaders to keep groups protected and together.

Being able to think and reason using experience and concepts, most people realise that it is unlikely everyone will get fair treatment if the leader is a bully boy. And that has proved to be the case in most societies throughout history, in which a small elite live off the work of a large poor underclass who receive little remuneration and less justice.

In the beginning, small societies usually employed a system of democratic government in which the men, and sometimes women, sat around and discussed and argued until they reached consensus. Larger groups, however, rendered this too time consuming and consensus almost impossible to reach.

Representatives were then appointed to ensure the rights of specific groups, but powerful people soon become impatient and dissatisfied with consensus, which tends towards stasis and security, conservation and tradition. Consensus was then replaced by majority rule, in which 51% of the votes gave the ‘winners’ the right to ignore dissenting opinions.

Faced with this situation, it becomes apparent that the only form of government that is completely fair to everyone would be a ‘benevolent dictatorship.’

Equally obvious is the fact that no human has all the qualities or abilities to be a truly benevolent dictator. Such a person would have to exhibit superhuman strength, intellect, compassion and foresight—omnipotence. He would also need to know the details of every individual in his jurisdiction, and know what was happening to everyone everywhere at all times—omniscience. To do this he would have to be invisible, and as his death would be disastrous, he would have to live forever—be immortal.

A few thousand years ago the Jews invented a god exactly like that to protect them and guarantee their interests. A later break-away sect took this a step further by dividing the same god into three, and a few hundred years later another breakaway sect received new messages about laws and dogma relating to this same god. But the system is so successful these three sects of judaism are now followed by most of the people in the world.

Unfortunately, this supernatural benevolent dictator/god decided not to communicate directly with the individuals he loves and cares for, leaving daily communion and transmission of directives to mere mortals—priests, rabbis, imams… and, as we are too well aware, they are human and humans aren’t perfect and if an imperfect person is left in charge of a perfect system it won’t remain perfect for long.

So, we’re left with democracy or dictatorship—very imperfect systems indeed to govern vast, ever-growing populations on a tiny planet fast running out of everything essential to the survival of life.