Ugandan legislators have not taken kindly to the Ugandan Cabinet having rejected the”unnecessary” Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, with MPs calling the government morally corrupt and vowing to persevere with the legislation regardless.
The lawmakers said it was immoral for government to think that donor funds matter more than traditional values and vowed to push for the Bill and ensure that it is passed even without the support of government. “Whether they want or not, we are going to pass it. For government to come up and throw out such a Bill means we are living in a crazy world,” said Mr Andrew Allen (Bugabula North).
Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, the architect of the Bill, says Cabinet cannot throw out his Bill because it is now property of Parliament and insists that he is going to push for it.
This further clarifies previously offered information that the bill is now in fact under Parliament’s jurisdiction and while the Cabinet’s rejection of the bill may dissuade some undecided lawmakers, it has no direct impact on whether the legislation can be passed by Parliament — in order to oppose Parliament passing the bill, the Cabinet would have to raise objections during parliamentary debate.
News also comes that the chairperson of Uganda’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Stephen Tashobya, has begun talking with the media about when parliamentary business will commence.
Parliament is currently in ministerial budget talks, however once those talks are through the bill could conceivably be brought to the floor at any time. Reports had suggested late August for this, but as August’s close looms this seems unlikely. Others had suggested November as a likely time. As such, Tashobya is quoted by Behind the Mask as earmarking the 7th of September for when the Ugandan Business Committee will convene and discuss Parliament’s priority list. This would seem in keeping with a November vote, however Tashobya would not confirm that the ‘Kill the Gay’s bill — so called because of its death penalty provision for repeat offenders — would be on that list.
Behind the Mask also highlights that David Bahati, author of the private members bill, may in fact be looking to dodge usual procedural rules to ensure the bill stays in play:
Meanwhile, human rights observers have suggested that Mr Bahati is intending to by-pass the requirement of obtaining a Certificate of Financial Implications, a must have document to re-introduce his bill in parliament by arguing that there are already institutions in the country, including the Police, Directorate of Public Prosecution, Prisons and the Hang Man to implement the Bill when it is passed into law.
This would weaken the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure that require a private bill to first acquire the certificate from the Ministry of Finance indicating how much government can spend if a bill is passed.
If not amended the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would also penalize attempted homosexuality, would unilaterally break ties with all international commitments that would impede its implementation, and could effectively exclude Uganda’s LGBT citizens from the judicial process because of its overreaching propaganda and collusion provisions.
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