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Uganda debates anti-homosexuality bill; vote in parliament possible this week

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Ugandan parliament committee on Monday held a second day of hearings on an anti-homosexuality bill that attracted worldwide condemnation for its harsh penalties, which include a death penalty provision.

Lawmakers indicated the bill could be voted on this week, the Associated Press reported.

The bill’s author, David Bahati, told The Associated Press last month that the death penalty provision in the bill was “something we have moved away from.” The bill is now undergoing debate and negotiations, so a new version would likely be presented before a final vote is held.

One of the bill’s backers, an anti-gay pastor named Martin Ssempa, told the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on Monday that he does not support the death penalty provision. He said instead that gays should face up to seven years in prison.

The proposed legislation, in its current form, calls for the death penalty for active homosexuals living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape. “Serial offenders” also would face capital punishment. Anyone convicted of a homosexual act would face life imprisonment.

The bill could also lead to the imprisonment for up to three years of anyone, including heterosexual people, who fail to report within 24 hours the identities of anyone they know who is LGBT, or who supports the human rights of people who are.

The measure, referred to as the “Kill The Gays” bill, was proposed 18 months ago by Bahati, but has languished in committee ever since. In an interview with AP last month, Bahati said if the parliament committee the bill recommends that the death penalty provision be removed, he would “concede.”

The parliament’s session ends May 12, but Bahati said the bill can be dealt with on next session if time runs out.

ALLOUT.com has an online petition demanding that Ugandan President Museveni publicly vow to veto the bill.

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Filed under: Africa

13 more reader comments:

  1. IGNORANCE.

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 5:09pm
  2. Not sure if your followers are aware, but there’s an online petition dealing with this issue: http://www.allout.org/en/petition/uganda

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 5:11pm
  3. i heard about this. its awful what the churches are telling those people.

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 5:13pm
  4. Why are people liking this?

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 5:27pm
  5. They’re liking it because it’s being reconsidered… at least I hope that’s why they’re liking it.

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 5:30pm
  6. I think this bill is disgusting

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 5:41pm
  7. To much hate in this world! Not enough understanding! No heart

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 5:55pm
  8. If only these people could understand what it’s like to hurt and suffer and DIE for something that is neither a SIN nor something anyone can control. This whole situation is disgusting and it makes me so sad and angry that I don’t know what to do with myself.

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 6:08pm
  9. Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 6:24pm
  10. Another petition against this: http://www.allout.org/en/petition/uganda

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 6:43pm
  11. this is so sad… now people will have to flee their beloved land,just for being who they are. this is not fare….

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 7:12pm
  12. =O Enough people die without laws punishing them too… =( I… I’m glad I’m not there receiving the death sentence…

    Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 7:15pm
  13. has Obama said something about this?

    Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 4:09pm