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Uganda advances anti-homosexuality bill, drops death penalty clause

Friday, November 23, 2012

A committee in the Uganda Parliament has advanced a proposed anti-homosexuality bill, but not before dropping a controversial death penalty clause from its original version that had earned the measure the nickname the “Kill the Gays” bill.

Medard Segona, a member of Uganda’s Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs reportedly told the BBC on Friday that “substantial amendments” had been made to the bill.

Without disclosing additional details, Segona lawmaker stressed that the death penalty clause had been dropped from the bill.

In the bill’s original form, first tabled by MP David Bahati in 2009, those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” — defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender” — could face the death penalty.

Such offenses would now result in life imprisonment.

While current laws in Uganda already outlaw gay sex, the proposed bill increases the existing penalties, and also prohibits any “promotion” of gay rights and calls for the punishment of anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality.”

The next step is for parliament to debate the bill. Segona said he thought this would happen before the Christmas break but said he could not be more precise.

Last week, Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament, promised that the bill will pass by the end of the year, calling it a “Christmas gift” to the nation.

Amnesty International said it was “extremely concerned” about the bill and called on the Ugandan parliament not to pass it.

“The bill would have lasting, harmful effects on Ugandans who are thought to breach its far-reaching provisions and it would significantly hamper the work of human rights defenders and public health professionals,” the rights group said.

Homosexuality is illegal in 37 countries on the African continent, including Uganda, and activists say few Africans are openly gay, fearing imprisonment, violence and loss of jobs.

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Filed under: Africa

28 more reader comments:

  1. :

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:11pm
  2. Savage country.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:11pm
  3. they need to be stopped asap

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:11pm
  4. Sigh. The fight continues.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:13pm
  5. :(

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:14pm
  6. What should we expect fro the country that gave the world Idi Amin?

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:15pm
  7. Christian Conservatives from the United States have been pushing Uganda to adopt this bill, INCLUDING the death penalty. Who’s savage?

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:22pm
  8. Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:23pm
  9. Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:23pm
  10. Stupid fuckers will burn in fucking hell if they pass that bill. Why can’t they just learn to mind their own fucking business on people’s sexuality? Stupid fucks. >_<

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:24pm
  11. Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:25pm
  12. It is a huge mistake to dismiss this as something that’s happening in a “savage country”….these are human beings, not savages. This is not something that’s happening “way over there in Africa” that has nothing to do with us. This bill was written with the help of American evangelicals who went to Uganda precisely to whip the country into a frenzy of homophobia. This article gives an excellent overview of the origins of this bill:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/05/11/uganda-anti-homosexual-bill-inspired-by-american-evangelicals.html

    These are the same people who are working against marriage equality here in America. To dismiss what is happening as something that would never happen here is unwise. These people are using Uganda as a test to see just how far they can go.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:26pm
  13. This country needs to be invaided !

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:01pm
  14. honestley even though its hard being bisexual or gay or lesbian in america, at least we CAN be with out the possibility of a law being passed where we COULD get killed, but i would not deny it

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:05pm
  15. If passed it would turn into a witch hunt.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:20pm
  16. I just hope same sex marriage become legal in my country next year.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:21pm
  17. life in prison or torture is no better than death. FREEDOM for all in all things or fight till death of them or us.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:32pm
  18. please take the time to sign it goes directly to the white house, thank you

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:38pm
  19. I signed it. As per the above article, I almost wonder if they just can’t stop talking about gay sex! &-{/}

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 12:06am
  20. Dropping the death clause is not enough. A normal human condition should not have be criminalized. The American evangelicals who went to Uganda to promote homophobia, are the very same people whom we were warned about heeding, in The Book Of Revelation. Legislating hate is wrong, period!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:46am
  21. Still not enough. Stop the bill. <3 maria <3

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:45am
  22. Any kind of imprisonment for being gay is unacceptable. America should cut off all aid to Uganda until this bill is killed.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:51am
  23. NO PUNISHMENT FOR BEING GAY!!!! Drop the bill ENTIRELY!!! Screw the Ugandan government!!!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 7:12am
  24. First of all we have to be appreciative that this bill could change debate to enlighten folks on equality. Yes we get angry and upset yet this is the same hatred statements that keeps the violence going!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 7:56am
  25. This is still wrong. All American aid to this un-Christian country should stop immediately should this bill become law

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 7:58am
  26. Johnny I made the same statement about all aid to all countries and to amend the united nations agreement to achieve full equaliy for all GLBTQ communities.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 7:59am
  27. I was just gaining hope for our Mankind untill these fucktards came in the way. Now i sit and think, How shameful can people get? Then to top it off, they want this horrible thing as a gift? Kill a person and claim that as a gift. WOW! My heart tingles of sadness… Shattered, but havent completly lost hope.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 11:04am
  28. wow _-_ i hate africa south africa rapes lesbians and this part is just as worse

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 8:30pm