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Anti-gay laws a disgrace: Carr
Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced today that Australia has formally lodged diplomatic protests at proposed anti-gay laws in Uganda and Nigeria.
In a statement from the Foreign Affairs office, Carr labelled the laws in both countries, which would strengthen punishments for people convicted of homosexual acts, as a “disgrace to human decency”.
Carr’s statement comes as the Ugandan Parliament prepares for the second reading of the bill, which would extend the penalty for homosexual acts to life imprisonment.
In 2009, a bill punishing homosexuality with the death penalty, known as the ‘Kill the Gays Bill,’ was introduced into Parliament, prompting an outcry from gay rights organisations and foreign governments.
Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Law, which introduces sentences of up to 14 years jail for homosexual acts, has passed both houses of Nigerian Parliament but still needs the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan before it officially becomes law.
The federal government lodged formal objections to the laws while in talks with representatives of the Ugandan and Nigerian governments in November.
Carr publicly supports same-sex marriage and was one of 26 Senators to vote in favour of equal marriage legislation in September.
The Australian Parliament voted to support a Greens motion condemning the Ugandan and Nigerian anti-gay bills in December.