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Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill shelved as parliament adjourns

Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill shelved as parliament adjourns

The future of Uganda’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill — dubbed the “Kill the Gays” bill — remains in limbo after parliament adjourned Friday without debating or voting on the controversial bill.

Ugandan MPs had been set to debate the bill, which could allow the death penalty for homosexual acts in some cases, but the legislative session was dissolved without any new bills being discussed.

The Guardian reports:

Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuk, the parliamentary speaker, ruled there was no time to take up the bill this session. He has adjourned the parliament and set no date for its return.

A source close to proceedings said parliament could technically come back between now and 17 May but most MPs were leaving for their constituencies. Bills not completed in the old parliament are wiped and must be resubmitted.

A parliament spokesperson told Associated Press that the bill could come up in the next session but it would take time for it to reach the floor.

The bill, introduced in 2009 by MP David Bahati, was intended to strengthen Uganda’s already-harsh laws against homosexuality, but instead received worldwide condemnation from many countries including the U.S., and LGBT and human rights advocacy groups.

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

In recent days, Bahati had announced that the death penalty clause had been removed from the bill, no new version was ever publicly released.

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