May 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm EDT | by Michael Key
Activists protest ‘Kill the Gays’ bill at Uganda embassy

Activists protested against the proposed Ugandan 'Anti-Homosexuality' bill on Tuesday. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

A small group of LGBT activists protested against the proposed Ugandan ‘Anti-Homosexuality’ bill in front of the Embassy of Uganda in D.C. on Tuesday.

The Ugandan Parliament convened a committee hearing Monday to discuss a bill that would institute the death penalty for homosexual acts in the country.

Activists who participated in the protest were five in number and affiliated with the LGBT civil rights organization, GetEQUAL, and the National Focus on Gender Education.

Activist Michael Dixon warned, “The Ugandan parliament is contemplating genocide for its LGBT citizens. It is important that they know that the entire world is watching them.”

Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) released a statement today echoing the activists’ concerns: “I’m disturbed by the news that Uganda is considering going ahead with a measure that denies the humanity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”

Frank continued, “if the bill before the Ugandan parliament becomes law, it must be the policy of the United States government to oppose any aid to Uganda from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, or any other international financial institution of which we are a member.”

The bill, proposed by anti-gay lawmaker David Bahati, gained national attention last year when it was revealed the bill’s sponsor had ties to the U.S. evangelical group known as the “The Family.”

Activist Denise Leclair shook her head and stated, “It is unconscionable that one of the things that we are exporting is hatred. A lot of what is going on in Uganda is being fueled by extreme religious groups, like ‘The Family.'”

At one point during the protest, a man from the embassy came out to see what the commotion was about. Activists told him that they were there to protest the anti-gay bill and handed him a flyer. Without saying a word, the man turned and locked the gate.

The activists handed out flyers and waved to cars who passed, whose drivers often honked in support of the protesters’ message.

Activist Larry Ranly summed up the sentiments of the other activists by saying, “The ‘Kill the Gays Bill’ in Uganda is so terrible that you have to do something. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.”

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Michael Key has worked as a photojournalist for the Washington Blade since 2009 and is currently serving as the photo editor. He has worked on Capitol Hill, in the White House, on the campaign trail and in cities along the East Coast taking iconic photos documenting the extension of marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and other events of interest to the LGBT community. Follow Michael

  • We need to turn that five people (pathetic) into about 5,000 in front of the Uganda Embassy, ASAP.
    Where are the staffers from all the “other” GLBT organizations – – they should have a lunch protest at the embassy THIS WEEK.

  • and how do you propose to get those five-hundred folks out at the embassy this week? let’s hear some constructive organizing suggestions, chris. i’m all for more folks showing up at such a protest, and if there were a consulate for uganda where i live, in SF, i would have staged numerous demos there.

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