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‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Back in Uganda’s Parliament

‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Back in Uganda’s Parliament

 

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality (aka ‘Kill the gays’) bill was reintroduced to parliament today.

The bill includes the death penalty for some offenses, provides for Ugandans fleeing the country to be extradited, requires that all people in Uganda report homosexuals and would ban advocacy by anyone for LGBT human rights.

The bill has been the focus of massive international condemnation since it was first introduced in 2009. President Obama called it “odious.” It ran out of time at the end of the last parliament in May and there has been speculation ever since as to whether it would be reintroduced and if so when.

The parliament is considering a large number of other bills and the country has been convulsed by mass protests by the opposition and increasing concerns that the government is becoming more authoritarian. The reintroduction of the bill could be seen as a deliberate distraction from those concerns.

Chief proponent of the bill, David Bahati MP, who last year defended the bill to Rachel Maddow, is now the Chair of the ruling NRM party.

The bill will be the same one which ran out of time in the last parliament. That version came out of a parliamentary committee in May with the death penalty clauses ‘hidden.’ This led to reports that capital punishment had been removed as a sop to international reaction. But the penalty of “aggravated homosexuality” had been redefined to ‘defilement’ — a crime that is punishable by death in Ugandan law.

Earlier today, the editor of the tabloid which ‘outed’ murdered Ugandan gay activist David Kato amongst others by publishing their faces next to the headline “hang them,” spoke with blogger Melanie Nathan.

Giles Muhame welcoming the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill’s return told her that:

“The Ugandan society is hugely conservative with millions looking at homosexuality as a ‘western evil’ creeping into their clean culture.”

Speaking in the parliament today, MP Barnabus Tinkasimire said:

“The anti-gays Bill is overdue because the spirit of my ancestors tell me that they lived without these practices.”

“I have been hearing government officials that when we pass the anti-gays Bill, we shall loose the donor’s money. We can’t afford to stay with such ills in our society and when it comes before the floor, we shall all pass it and support it,” he added, attracting an ovation from fellow backbenchers.

This is probably a referral to a new policy by the British government to redirect development aid from governments which actively represses LGBT people.

The Ugandan government announced in August that it was not backing the bill, which led to worldwide headlines that the bill was dead.

Observers say that if the Bill does come to a vote, it will be overwhelmingly approved and, contrary to previous information, it would not be possible for President Yoweri Museveni to veto it.

Even though the bill has not passed since 2009, Ugandan LGBT say that it has led to a massive and violent backlash against them in the country, fueled by hate-speech from politicians, media and clergy.

Leader Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, who received one of the world’s leading human rights awards earlier this month, has been forced to regularly shift from house to house, afraid to stay long in the same place. Police and security forces regularly stop and intimidate her.

Speaking to swissinfo.ch after receiving the award, she said:

“Harassment occurs almost on a daily basis, verbal attacks in public or more sinister repression. The simple suspicion of being a homosexual has serious consequences: being evicted from your home or losing your job is quite common; many homosexuals commit suicide.”

 

Related Stories:

Ugandan ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Reaches Back in to US Politics

Uganda Taken to Court by Gay Activist

Ugandan MPs Vow to Pass ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill

 

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Photo credit: riekhavoc

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50 comments

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8:14AM PST on Feb 18, 2012

The same bill is in place in Liberia

8:11AM PST on Feb 18, 2012

Same bill is in place in Liberia

8:53AM PST on Dec 7, 2011

Call it whatever you want, use whatever excuses you wish. This does NOT remove the FACT that killing people for whatever personal reasons is PURE: GENOCIDE.

11:43PM PST on Dec 3, 2011

i will agree, hanging is extreme. But maybe that is because of the extremist homosexuals that force our children and introduce them to such lifestyles in schools all over the country. Call it backward and dark.Keep your aid if you want.
Speaking from the other end of the world is easy since you don't no what exactly happens here.
At least we can stand together on this; for the security of the future.
AND WE SHALL CONTINUE TO LIVE IN THE 'DARK' by your standards

10:50AM PST on Nov 17, 2011

some of us ugandans who ran away to foreign countries,we are suffering alot sleeping on streets just because you where born gay..this world is unfair,feel like dying and rest in peace,

10:39AM PST on Nov 17, 2011

seriously ugandans need to be civilized,and face the reality,that gay people exist and they are human beings who need to live their lives like anyother person.

9:25PM PST on Nov 7, 2011

I seem to recall Jesus was more concerned about repentance than the death penalty. He forgave the thief sentenced to death, not liberated him. It is not clear to me that the death penalty is a sin, and therefore, your argument that it must be opposed on pain of excommunication falls flat. We would need to be very busy indeed to eliminate the death penalty in Arab countries and in our own back yard.

It seems to be it is a repressive public health matter in a country drowning in HIV. If they are going to go after the gays they need to be even handed and go after the female prostitutes. At minimum try to incapacitate them through imprisonment. Or is that impractical in Uganda because of their numbers?

2:49PM PST on Nov 6, 2011

HIV is ten times as prevalent (6% vs. 0.6%) in Uganda as it is in America, and was as prevalent as 15%. With numbers like that, and not nearly the wealth America has to fight HIV with triple drug cocktails, it is easy to see that Uganda is attacking HIV by attacking sex, and especially the riskiest sex known to spread HIV. You can't judge Uganda's problems by America's values any more than you can suggest Scandinavian medical policies for American health problems and values of efficiency and money.

Christopher Marsh
M.A., Sociologist
Marshall University

2:34PM PDT on Oct 29, 2011

OK, so 10% of the world's population is gay. Does this mean that 10% of the population there will be punished by various means? That's 1 out of every 10 people. They are going to need many punishers, so while they are torturing all these people, perhaps unemployment will go down. I, too, would like to see a boycott of trade with this nation.

11:30AM PDT on Oct 29, 2011

"The fact that people in the American right had a role in bringing that legislation forward should frighten people here." This is a false analogy, coming obviously from a leftist. American "right" had no more to do with this bill than Canada had to do with a new Libyan power claiming itself Islamic.

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