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Death Penalty For Being Gay: Uganda Kill The Gays Bill Soon To Be Law?

by David Badash on May 10, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Gay Agenda,International,News

Post image for Death Penalty For Being Gay: Uganda Kill The Gays Bill Soon To Be Law?

Editor’s note: For the most up-to-date news on Uganda’s Kill The Gays bill, visit our Uganda section.

Uganda’s infamous “Kill The Gays” bill, which would provide the death penalty for the “crime” of being gay, is about to become law, based upon current reports and the surrounding political situation in the staunchly conservative and Christian East African country. The bill has been debated in the Uganda Parliament for the past two days, and may come to a vote in the next 24 hours, which is when the current session of Parliament concludes.

READ: Uganda Kill The Gays Leader: “Homosexuality Is Killing Our Society”

The bill is being seen by many in the western media as a diversionary tactic for a government attempting to regain control amidst an increasingly angry and rioting population — one that is extremely homophobic and anti-gay, thanks in large part to American Evangelical groups, including The Family, that have infiltrated the country of 32 million people, 84% of whom are Christian.

Despite reports that the AHB’s author David Bahati has “conceded” to removing the death penalty from the bill, it remains in the bill’s current form. A surprise move calling for removal of the death penalty provisiuon by Bahati’s partner in the bill’s advocacy, Pastor Martin Ssempa, may have served to allay some concerns, but both Bahati’s and Ssempa’s moves may be chalked up to little more than grandstanding. What counts is what’s actually in the bill when it comes to a vote, most likely within the next 24 hours.

 


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Contact:
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Ssempa on Monday told lawmakers — members of the Uganda Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee – “The parliament should be given the opportunity to discuss and pass the bill, because homosexuality is killing our society.”

Uganda ranks number 143 of 169 countries in the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index, which examines a combination of health, education, and living standards. Uganda is also considered to have a high number of people who are illiterate, especially women. All these factors lead to a population easily indoctrinated into religious extremism.

Currently, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) is listed in a Uganda Parliament publication under “business to follow,” which could mean it will come to a vote shortly, as all reports indicate, or it could languish there until the next session of parliament begins.

READ: Uganda Kill The Gays Bill May Become Fast Tracked Into Law

“There are two ways to read this. The bill’s listed under ‘business to follow’ do not always come up for immediate consideration. I’ve watched some bills remain under this notice for weeks on end,” writes Box Turtle Bulletin’s Jim Burroway.

“On the other hand, Wednesday May 11 is a very significant day, and the vote can be an important diversion. Not only is it the last scheduled day of final scheduled session of the 8th Parliament, but it also happens to coincide with the day in which the opposition leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye, plans to return from Nairobi, Kenya, where he had been treated for injuries sustained when he was attacked by security forces during a peaceful protest.”

Burroway adds that “Parliament Speaker Edward Ssekandi is fighting to retain his position as Speaker in the next Parliament,” and suggests that “MP David Bahati, the sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, appears to be involved, either directly or behind the scenes, in the Speaker selection process. He may be using that leverage to force the speaker to fast-track the bill for a vote.”

And more bad news. Warren Throckmorton, who has been following the events very closely, writes today, “According to Stephen Tashobya [chairman of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee,] the bill is not really dead until May 18. If the Speaker wants to bring the Parliament together to consider the bill, he can do so, even after tomorrow. While that seems unlikely, it is possible. Also, the next Parliament begins the same day that the old one ends. There is nothing to prevent Bahati from bringing a version of the AHB back if he gets leave from Parliament to table another private member’s bill.”

“Ssempa and others … continue to claim homosexuality is imported from the West, is a threat to Ugandan children and needs to be legally stopped,” said Christopher Senyonjo, a Ugandan Bishop working to defeat the bill, according to a special report in SDGLN, which writes,

“Bishop Christopher said he is convinced that the bill will move forward to Parliament and if passed, it will be up to the president to veto it. International pressure from the U.S., the United Kingdom, the European Union and human rights organizations is intense, but Ugandans are being greatly influenced by anti-​gay American missionaries from the Religious Right and from the extremely conservative Anglican Church in Africa.”

Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin reminds that even if the death penalty is withdrawn, “the bill would still remain a potent threat to human rights. The bill would lower the bar for conviction, making mere “touching” for the perceived purpose of homosexual relations a criminal offense. It threatens teachers, doctors, friends, and family members with three years imprisonment if they didn’t report anyone they suspected of being gay to police within twenty-​four hours. It also would broadly criminalize all advocacy of homosexuality including, conceivably, lawyers defending accused gay people in court or parliamentarians proposing changes to the law. It even threatens landlords under a “brothel” provision if they knowingly rent to gay people.”

(Image: Pastor Martin Ssempa reportedly showing pornographic images to a group of people including minors.)


 

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{ 1 comment }

Carley May 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_stop_homophobia_pe… – please, everyone! thousands of people could die!

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