Petition delivered to Uganda’s Parliament; Ssempa miffed

Avaaz.org is hosting a petition opposing Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The first installment of signatures was delivered earlier today to the Speaker of the Parliament, Edward Sekandi. From Afrik.com:

The anti-gay bill was tabled in parliament by member of parliament David Bahati in October 2009. Since then a lot has been debated about the harshness of punishments in the bill.

The petition was today morning presented to the speaker of Uganda parliament Edward Sekandi by four people who said were representing Aids service providers, human rights activists, spiritual mentors and councilors.

Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha, the first Anglican church priest in Uganda to declare that he was living with HIV-AIDs in late 1980, led the group that presented the bill to the speaker in parliament.

Byamigisha told the press in Kampala that the speaker welcomed their petition and promised to send it to the committee working on the bill. He said that Sekandi told them that it is now too late to withdraw the bill because it is already in the hands of parliamentarians.
You can find the petition here. Normally I do not sign online petitions but this one has some connection in the real world via Rev. Byamugisha. I think this with the Facebook groups (over 100,000 members of the various groups) might give some sense of the magnitude of the hope for a reconsideration among Uganda’s key leaders.
UPDATE: Martin Ssempa is not happy with the petition, calling Byamugisha one of the “imperialistic agents of sodomy.” Ssempa want the petitioners thrown out of Parliament and sent to some camp for a little reeducation. 聽