Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill, Unsigned but Still Effective

Published: January 21, 2014

 But many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and intersex (LGBTI) people in the East African country, and NGOs trying to help them, say many have been suffering discrimination for years and it is getting worse.

 
"People think it is already law," Judith, who asked not to be identified for her safety, told IPS.  "Whether the bill is passed or not, we are suffering."
 
Judith, 25, is an HIV positive former sex worker, a man trapped inside a woman’s body, who turned to sex work for financial survival after her parents suspected she was gay when she was 16 and threw her out of their village home.
 
For her, the rejection has already started. Judith claims she was discriminated against in early January at the clinic she regularly visits in Kampala.
 
Judith, who was diagnosed HIV positive in 2008 and has a dangerously low immune system and gonorrhoea, says the doctor told her that other patients were complaining because the clinic was treating a "gay".
 
"’Don’t come back,’ that’s what she told me. ‘Patients are complaining that we are working on homosexuals. It’s not allowed here in our culture. I’m a Christian,’" Judith recalled.
 
"I felt very bad and almost cried but I’m used to it . I was speechless, I left immediately," she told IPS.
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