Late yesterday Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” bill — also known as the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” or AHB — appeared to be dead even before it was voted upon in the Ugandan Parliament, but reports are now surfacing that the legislation’s chief proponent, MP David Bahati, is not going to let the bill die without a fight. While news reports are sketchy, reliable sources indicate that Bahati is still at work on promoting the bill. This should come as no surprise as Bahati — who has said he wants to “kill every last gay person” — has spent several years backing this bill, and he has strong ties to the deep pockets of “The Family.”
Warren Throckmorton writes, “I just now received an email from a listener to Ugandan radio that David Bahati has been assured by the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee chair Stephen Tashobya that the AHB will be debated.”
While a debate is still debatable, what’s behind the decision of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to determine that the bill, which has been public since 2009, is now “redundant?”
One reason is money.
This week U.S. Rep. Barney Frank succeeded in securing an almost unanimous vote of the House Financial Services Committee on an amendment that would “discourage” funding countries which persecute their citizens on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Frank said, “we should not be supportive of providing multilateral bank development funds going to the governments of countries which engage in the physical persecution of people because of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
Other countries also have attempted to use financial incentives to kill the “Kill The Gays” bill, including Germany, Sweden, and France, while the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the Welsch Assembly Government have expressed public condemnation.
In discussing the demise of the “Kill The Gays” bill, Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin today writes,
“January a year ago, Museveni spoke at an NRM meeting urging Parliament to “go slow” over the bill, pointing out that due to international outcry it is not just a domestic matter but one with worldwide ramifications, most notably in the threat it posed to foreign aid to the country. Foreign aid makes up an estimated one-third of Uganda’s budget and economy. He also called on a special subcabinet committee to examine the bill. In a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Kampala posted on Wikileaks, President Museveni “suggested the entire bill could be dropped, and twice asked the Ambassador to remind Washington that “someone in Uganda”, meaning himself, is handling the matter and knows what he is doing.” Museveni also complained about foreign pressure.”
Note that sentence: “Foreign aid makes up an estimated one-third of Uganda’s budget and economy.”
Some reports put the amount of U.S. aid to Uganda at $500 million.
The other reason the bill was “shelved” is extreme international pressure. As mentioned above, many countries have expressed outrage and condemned the “Kill The Gays” bill. And as we reported here Wednesday, 85 countries at the UN voted to condemn violence against LGBT persons, just ahead of the expected vote on the AHB in Uganda.
What appears clear is that the bill in its current form has been shelved for now, but parts of the bill, including the part that provides for the death penalty for the “crime” of homosexuality or “aggravated homosexuality,” could be added to other legislation and forced through Parliament, just as controversial legislation in the United States is often passed.
Additionally, Bahati, who has an MBA from the University of Wales, made his name of the infamy of the “Kill The Gays” bill surely will not let it — or his reputation — die without a strong fight.
We could conceivably see a political showdown in Uganda, with its LGBTQ community as pawns, and the entire nation’s financial stability threatened, all due to the false “belief” of David Bahati & Co., that homosexuals are an “emergent threat” and are trying to “promote” homosexuality, and recruit Uganda’s children. Baseless claims he has made time and again, for which he has never provided any evidence.
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