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University Shut Down Over Gay Bill As Lawsuit Begins

A Kampala based University in Uganda has been forced to close over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a lawsuit against an American accused of being the mastermind behind the Bill begun in earnest.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

9th January 2013 10:28

Alessia Valenza

According to reports, the British University of Buckingham has suspended the validation of some of the courses offered at Victoria University, Kampala, saying it’s concerned about the proposed anti-gay Bill currently before Parliament.

A January 8 statement on the University of Buckingham’s website says it has “become increasingly concerned about the proposed legislation in Uganda on homosexuality and in particular the constraints on freedom of speech in this area.”

‘In the light of this we have agreed to suspend our validation on the assurance that Edulink (the owners) would produce viable arrangements for existing students on our validated courses to complete their studies,’ read the statement in part.

Victoria University also released a statement; however it did not mention the legislation specifically and instead cited issues surrounding “diversity”.

It read: "Under both UK and Ugandan law discrimination on a variety of grounds is prohibited; however there are fundamental differences between the two nations’ respective laws regarding equality and diversity, which cannot be reconciled."

“After seeking legal guidance from both UK and Ugandan lawyers, Victoria University and University of Buckingham have concluded that as the laws of Uganda and UK presently stand, Victoria University cannot comply with both sets of laws.”

President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala officially launched Victoria University on 10th September 2011 and it had admitted close to 600 students.

[Scott Lively arrivs at courthouse in Springfield clutching a bible – JMG Roger] Elsewhere, the case against Scott Lively brought by Uganda LGBT activists took off with the first hearing Monday.

According to the latest reports, a federal court is weighing a request for dismissal from anti-gay evangelical Scott Lively of the case brought against him by Pepe Onziema, a transgender gay rights activist and SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda) accusing Lively of crimes against humanity.

The AP reports:

Following court arguments Monday, it is now up to U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor to decide whether to grant Lively’s motion to dismiss a civil action that Sexual Minorities Uganda filed against him last year. The Uganda-based group for which Onziema serves as program director alleges that Lively waged a long campaign of persecution of gays in the East African country.

In related news, Facebook has taken down an anti-gay user page aimed at outing Ugandans.

The page, called "Kampala Exposed: Facts and Rumors," was brought to wider attention by a petition started by the LGBT organization Freedom and Roam Uganda.

In the petition, Freedom and Roam Uganda cited a previous "outing" of Ugandans perceived to be gay in a local newspaper and the anti-gay bias believed to have led to the murder of prominent Ugandan LGBT advocate David Kato. GLAAD reached out to Facebook regarding the anti-gay page.