Political Scientists Move Meeting Out of Uganda

March 1, 2010

The American Political Science Association announced Friday that it will move its summer workshop for African scholars from Uganda to a yet-to-be-determined location elsewhere in Africa. The association planned the meeting well before the current debate there about legislation that would impose severe penalties -- including execution in some cases -- for gay acts. A statement issued by the association noted that "legal hostility" toward gay people is a problem in almost all African nations. But Uganda poses "unique" problems, the association said, in part because of the breadth of the proposed legislation, which covers some thought as well as behavior, the statement said. The association has been studying the issue and hoping that the legislation would be withdrawn or defeated, but at this point, plans need to be made, so the APSA decided to move the meeting. "We cannot commit today to send staff and scholars to work in Uganda safely on topics that include the study of sexual identity in politics, and we of course must not remove these topics from our agenda for the workshops," the statement said.

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