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Uganda Parliament likely to consider ‘Kill the Gays’ bill soon

Uganda Parliament likely to consider ‘Kill the Gays’ bill soon

The Ugandan Parliament will reconvene next week and is expected to consider the anti-homosexuality legislation often referred to as the “Kill the Gays” bill.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and under the proposed legislation, gays could be punished with life imprisonment or the death penalty for certain homosexual behavior.

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 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or who supports the human rights of people who are.

The bill has languished in the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee since its introduction in October 2009 caused international outrage.

With the Parliament now in its lame duck session, sponsor David Bahati appears to be working to move the bill from committee, and finally into law, as early as next week.

According to committee chairman, Stephen Tashobya, the committee would hold public meetings on the bill’s provisions and the House could look at passing it before parliament ends in May.

In January, Ugandan gay activist David Kato was murdered in his home near Kampala. Prior to his murder, Kato had led the challenge against the bill.

Human rights activists say Uganda, with a population of 31 million, has some 500,000 gays and lesbians, and that the LGBT community continues to live in fear. Uganda is one of more than 35 African nations that have outlawed homosexuality.

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