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Uganda Once Again Revives ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill

Uganda Once Again Revives ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill

 

In a move that will likely surprise no one, lawmakers in Uganda have once again introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009.

The legislation, which President Obama once called “odious”, was dubbed the “Kill the Gays” bill for its death penalty provision for repeat offenders. However, the draft legislation is said to have been modified to drop that aspect of the bill.

From the BBC:

A BBC correspondent says MPs laughed, clapped and cried out: “Our bill, our bill,” when its architect David Bahati reintroduced the draft legislation on Tuesday.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was shelved in 2011 after an international outcry.

[...]

The BBC’s Joshua Mmali in the capital, Kampala, says Mr Bahati, the primary backer of the bill, has confirmed the draft legislation has changed in one fundamental way.

Those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender” – would no longer face the death penalty, as originally proposed.

This appears to be slightly inaccurate however. The ever vigilant Warren Throckmorton reports that the legislation tabled by MP Bahati contains no such change. Instead, word is the legislation could be changed at committee stage. Throckmorton has both the original bill and the proposed amended text. However, readers familiar with the legislation’s history will know that such assurances have been made before only for the bill to go to the voting stage in tact and without the death sentence deleted.

The legislation was originally introduced in 2009. Then, following an international outcry, action on the Bill stalled until last year when it came close to a full vote before a procedural oversight meant parliament ran out of time.

Though the 8th Parliament consistently flirted with the idea of striking the death penalty, that provision was never actually removed. The death penalty sits alongside the legislation’s other grave breaches of human rights, which include:

  • A 7-year jail sentence for consenting adults who have gay sex;
  • A life sentence for people in same-sex marriages;
  • Extradition and prosecution of LGBT Ugandans living abroad;
  • The death penalty for adults who have gay sex with minors or people with disabilities, consensual or no, or who communicate HIV via gay sex, regardless of condom usage or consent;
  • Jail for anyone who doesn’t report suspected gay people within 24 hours;
  • A ban on the “promotion” of homosexuality so open-ended that it would endanger HIV/AIDS treatment and sexual health clinics in the country and could effectively exclude gay people from petitioning the courts by making those representing them liable for criminal action;
  • A mandate to break all ties with international commitments and laws opposing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The parliamentary committee which reviewed the bill last session also recommended a number of additions to the bill, including a penalty on “conduct[ing] a marriage ceremony between persons of the same sex” which would be punishable by three years in prison.

MP David Bahati and supporters have made no secret of the animus behind the legislation, saying that it is vital to protect Uganda’s children from the evils of homosexuality, which they call a foreign disease.

We will continue to follow the situation regarding this bill as it unfolds.

To read more about the history of the bill, click here to view Care2′s past coverage.

 

Related Reading:

Ugandan LGBT Rights Activist Now Allowed UK Entry

Suspicious Burglary at Ugandan Gay Rights Organization

Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill Set to Return

 

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

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71 comments

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7:39PM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Send some gay Israeli flyboys to buzz their Parliament. Just a friendly warning.

11:52AM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

Thank you for sharing

11:41AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

i think David Bahati had psychological and childhood problem! if that Anti-Gay Bill passed, i will pray harder that David Bahati will become gay! God should teach him lesson!

11:36AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

their proposed punishments compared to anti-gay bill organizers who take advantage of law to oppress their people!

11:22AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

if they imposed that, that would be the fall of Uganda! gays should be helped! execute gays and KARMA will flood! kill babies and HELL will sprout!

8:45PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Thank you for sharing...

12:32AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Thanks for the article.

8:57PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

Ugh can't believe they're bringing this is AGAIN. Also I think it's a bit hypocritical the US will speak out on this although they haven't fully legalized gay marriage and other gay rights....

7:04PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

We can squawk all we want at Uganda, but we have people over here, running for office, who think and feel the same way. Perhaps they won't go so far as to sanction the severe penalties of Uganda, but only because it it isn't politically expedient to do so. Ask the current crop of republican hopefuls if they agree with Uganda's severe views and if they would go as far. They of course won't support life imprisonment, but they are all anti-gay, make no mistake about it. And Santorum has announced he would bring back DADT, and strip those in the armed service from the right to just have a relationship and not have to lie about it.In many ways, to me, they just represent a watered down Uganda. There is only ONE candidate who will support equal rights, and even he has said he is "evolving" on the whole gay marriage issue.

6:01PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

If Uganda wants to severely punish those who have sex with minors, or those who transmit HIV, that is at least understandable. But to prosecute consenting adults is a ridiculous waste of police and judicial resources.

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