There is a lot of talk in the media today about the fact that Uganda might make homosexuality a capital offense in the country. As a political advisor, I have already received a lot of questions about the legislation. The ultimate goal of this Ugandan anti-homosexual legislation is aimed at eliminating homosexuality in Uganda, there is nothing illegal about the actions of the Ugandan government in the eyes of the United Nations. The Ugandan anti-homosexual legislation does not cross the legal lines of an act of genocide in the eyes of the United Nations.
The United Nations is bound to act on any legislation or governmental action that could possibly lead to genocide. One of the reasons for the formation of the United Nations was to protect the world from the horrors of genocide. The problem that human rights organizations are facing right now over the anti-homosexual legislation in Uganda is that the United Nations’ hands are tied, and it cannot get involved.
The United Nations definition of genocide includes race, national origin, sex, and religion. If a country were to take actions that would cause for the elimination of any of the groups that would come under these four qualifiers, the United Nations would enact the long-time standing anti-genocide actions. The anti-homosexual Ugandan government legislation falls outside of these qualifiers, so it could not become the recipient of any sanctions by the United Nations.
Now, one might wonder if the United Nations could change this ruling on genocide to include homosexuals. The United Nations follows Parliamentary Procedure, and is bound by those rules of order to change their rules. To amend the rules that deal with genocide, the action on the floor of the UN would need a two-thirds majority vote by the included nations. This could take months, and probably not even pass with the number of nations in the world that either frown on homosexuality, or are run by churches that do not allow homosexual behavior.
The anti-homosexual legislation that is in the works in Uganda could pass, and go into effect without a single mention by the body of the United Nations. In fact, if a direct representative of the United Nations attempted to get involved with the passing, or dropping, of the Ugandan anti-homosexual legislation, he or she would be in direct violation of international law that has been set up by the United Nations.
Constitution of the United Nations: Analysis of Structure and Function
Principles of International Law