MP Vows to Persevere with ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill

MP David Bahati, author of the now infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 or the “Kill the Gays” bill as it is known due to its death penalty provision for repeat offenders, has vowed that the 8th Parliament’s failure to take up the bill amounts to only a “pressing on the pause button” for the legislation and that he will reintroduce the bill into the 9th Parliament which was sworn in May 19.

From the humanitarian news and analysis service, IRIN:

“The closure of this parliament is just pressing on the pause button,” he said. “I’m committed to the fight against behaviour and promotion of behaviour that is going to destroy the future of our children.”

[...]

Following consultations with various stakeholders, including the government, civil society and the clergy, the Committee of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs has adopted a number of amendments to the original bill, including the removal of provisions criminalizing “attempted” homosexuality and those requiring anyone who knows of homosexual conduct to report it to the police within 24 hours.

However, according to Human Rights Watch, despite Bahati and other supporters of the bill agreeing to the deletion of the bill’s “death penalty clause”, the parliamentary committee retained the death penalty for those accused of “aggravated homosexuality”, by suggesting it be redefined as “aggravated defilement,” which is also punishable by death.

The committee further recommended the creation of the new crime of conducting a marriage ceremony between persons of the same sex, punishable by three years in prison, and suggested deleting the crimes of “aiding and abetting homosexuality,” and “conspiracy to commit homosexuality”, but included a penalty of seven years in prison for “procuring homosexuality by threats”.

Charges based on the notion that an individual has attempted to coerce others into homosexual acts are frequently made in Uganda, so the latter, very vague provision seems tailored for the purpose of shutting down LGBT support networks within the country, especially when married with provisions against the “promotion” of homosexuality.

Relating to this, Bahati is quoted as saying that he will take emphasis away from the death penalty provision and instead focus on the anti-promotion of homosexuality aspect, but one notes that no matter how many times this idea is flirted with, the death penalty always seems to reemerge.

Human rights organizations have warned that even a watered down version of the bill without the death penalty would still constitute a gross violation of human rights and would also chill HIV/AIDS prevention in the country.

Bahati estimates that the bill will be debated and passed by the end of the year. However, action could occur sooner: “Stephen Tashobya, chairman of the Committee of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs, said the bill could, in theory, be tabled any time from next week, but that the government agenda would take precedence.”

As is standard with Ugandan politics, a great deal is changeable — one thing that seems a certainty, however, is that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is not dead yet, though how and when it will receive a reading in parliament remains unclear. 


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to US Army Africa

51 comments

caterina caligiuri

...not good at all..!!!!....maybe I am wrong but I was sure we were in...2011....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Randall S.
Randall Stein5 years ago

This man's ignorance and heartlessness is overwhelming. As mentioned in earlier articles on this, this mental midget is so clueless as to believe that in their country there are not more than 8,000 gays & lesbians. The population of Uganda is THIRTY-FOUR MILLION!!!! Even the most conservative estimates say five percent of people are gay or lesbian (not counting the bisexuals.) Even a fifth grader could do the math.

Lloyd Sevigny
Lloyd Sevigny5 years ago

To care2...where is there a petition to sign to stop this madness? While it is good to inform us of this homophobic lunacy, it is not enough if we can do nothing about it. Please create a petition, now!

khalem h.
khalem h.5 years ago

good glad this is a bill. wwe shuld have it here in the united states to

Lika S.
Lika S.5 years ago

The meek will inherit the earth. Right now, gay people are the meekest. If you're going to use God, just remember, the 10 Commandments says "Thou Shall Not Kill". No where in the Bible does it say "Go forth and kill gay people". But it DOES say "Love thy neighbors as you love yourself", and the Golden Rule "Do unto others, as you'd have done unto yourself". Loving neighbors and the Golden Rule support the commandment.

I'm not religious btw, but it just seems as if the most religious are those bent on ridding the world of Gay people. Get over yourselves, will ya?

Anyway, equal rights for ALL people, starting right here!

Jane H.
Jane H.5 years ago

I know Gos loves gay people because if he didn't he wouldn't make so many!

Adam G.
Adam G.5 years ago

here's a good idea: how about a "kill the homophobes" bill? sure, it's a bit extreme, but it's better that "kill the gays" and the world would be a much better place without such filthy perverted scum like homophobes...

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m.5 years ago

@Emil, I hope you weren't going whete I think you were, but nevertheless, the rest is "on earth as it is in heaven".
I don't think there is any killing or persecutution of gays in heaben, and yes all you homophobes out there, i' sure
HEAVEN IS BRIMMING OVER WITH GAYS OF ALL COLORS, ETHNICITIES AND DENOMINATIONS!!!! God knows most have spent enough time in hell right here on earth!

Bart V.
Bart V.5 years ago

The situation in Uganda is reprehensible. The religious right in America denies any responsibility for contributing to the Ugandan mindset.That is, of course, absurd. At a recent anti-gay religious rally held in the Bronx, the lead speakers described gay Americans as "worthy of death." It is to be noted that there was no objection from one of the leading voices for Catholicism in the US today, who was in attendance; Maggie Gallagher. What kind of message does this pass on to the average American citizen?

Hege Torset
Hege Torset5 years ago

horrible!