Saturday, March 26, 2011

Uganda Drops "Kill the Gays" Bill

Under mounting international pressure the Uganda Parliament has shelved legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment or death under some circumstances. That does not mean that Uganda's gays and lesbians are safe. Sodomy remains illegal and another, slightly less draconian bill is still pending. The Advocate reports:
Information minister Masiko Kabakumba appeared Thursday on NTV to announce that the administration of President Yoweri Museveni had determined the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to be redundant because other laws already make being gay a crime in the country. The new proposal, which sparked international outcry when it was introduced in 2009, would magnify the penalties to include execution for “aggravated homosexuality,” such as having sex when HIV-positive.

Kabakumba said that another law, the Sexual Offenses Bill, would cover any outstanding concerns, but Bahati, the lawmaker with connections to antigay American evangelicals, insisted that a “specific and clear” law is still needed to fight the “promotion” of homosexuality. In addition, Warren Throckmorton reports that Bahati has been assured by legal and parliamentary affairs committee chair Stephen Tashobya that debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will proceed.
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