African, Muslim delegates shoot down gay agenda at IPU assembly

Parliamentarians from mostly Muslim and African Countries at the ongoing 139th assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) have foiled plans of pro-gay nations to introduce the LGBT agenda through amendment of the Parliament Rules which was going to give an opening for the proposal to be adopted without debate.

The proposal moved by the IPU standing committee on Democracy and Human Rights is meant to be considered on Wednesday at the ongoing IPU assembly in Geneva, Switzerland but the committee members had wanted to introduce an amendment to the Rules which would make it difficult for the general assembly to change or debate anything passed by the standing committee.

Delegates at the IPU assembly

The Committee on Democracy and Human Rights is chaired by Gail B. Tshireletso (Botswana), who moved that since the proposal had got overwhelming support in the committee, it should be adopted without debate in the assembly.

With protestations from other Parliamentarians, IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron (Mexico) proposed that members lobby and campaign in order to vote on a question on whether the assembly can change the work plan and agenda of the standing committees.

The Ugandan delegation led by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga rallied legislators from different geopolitical groups to support the motion which could allow the assembly to amend many issues in the committee report that had already been adopted by a smaller group of pro-gay supporters.

Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament Rebecca Kadaga (C) at the IPU assembly

The motion was passed with 874 legislators voting for it, 671 against and 120 abstained.

The jubilant Ugandan delegation was all praises for Kadaga who lobbied her fellow Speakers to support the motion to allow the assembly to amend the committee reports.

“We are very grateful to all IPU countries that have supported this initiative, we knew about these back door plans and I informed the Parliamentary Union Islamic conference and we all agreed that we should fight this item,” said Kawempe North MP Abdulatif Ssebaggala.

Paul Akamba Paul (Busiki) referred to the vote as a first win in the battle that they came ready to fight.

He thanked the Asian community that stood with the African majority to fight LGBT issues that have been often smuggled into the IPU agenda.

“Article 1 clause 2 of the IPU statute talks about defending and promoting only those rights that are accepted universally; issues of LGBT community as you can see have been widely opposed. IPU should restrain itself from such useless debates,” Akamba argued.

Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju) said legislators to always pass laws and vote on issues that will help their people and also promote their cultures.

“We shall continue to fight the LGBT issues on the international level until people here appreciate that same sex in unhuman and anti-culture,” Mwijukye said.

The Ugandan delegation also has MPs, Maureen Osoru Mourine (Arua Woman), Rose Kabagyeni (Kisoro Woman) and Esther Anyakun (Nakapiripirit Woman).

IPU is a global inter-parliamentary organization that works with national Parliaments to safeguard peace and drive positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.