Editor’s note: The situation has changed. Please read: URGENT UPDATE: Kill The Gays Bill Back On Uganda Parliament Vote Agenda. This is a developing story, and we expect a vote later today. Please check back throughout the day for updates.
For the most up-to-date news on Uganda’s Kill The Gays bill, visit our Uganda section.
In an unexpected move, overnight, Uganda’s internationally denounced Kill The Gays bill has disappeared from the Uganda Parliament’s agenda. The bill is infamous around the world for its provision mandating the death penalty for anyone convicted of the â€œcrimeâ€ of homosexuality,Â anyone convicted of same-â€‹sex rape, anyone who is classified as a â€œserial offender,â€ even anyone withÂ HIV.Â The bill was widely expected to be voted upon — and easily pass — Wednesday, after two days of committee debate that its author, David Bahati (photo), claimed had produced a version that stripped the death penalty for being gay out of the draft legislation. Parliament’s last scheduled day is today, but technically May 18 is the close of its session before a new Parliament is sworn in.
Worldwide outcry from nearly two million individuals who signed online petitions and contacted Ugandan embassies, as well as from governments around the world, including the U.K., and United States — which contributes a large portion of Uganda’s annual operating budget through various foreign aid entities — may have had the desired effect.
It is critical to note that this does not mean the Kill The Gays bill is dead. It has “died” and been resurrected several times before, and its author, M.P. David Bahati — who has strong ties to the highly influential political and religious group, The Family — is not about to let it die.
“One member of parliament, John Alimadi, said Wednesday that the bill may have been dropped from the agenda because of a worldwide outcry against it,’ reported The Washington Post Wednesday.
It is critical to note that this does not mean the Kill The Gays bill is dead. It has “died” and been resurrected several times before, and its author, M.P. David Bahati — who has strong ties to the highly influential political and religious group, The Family — is not about to let it go, especially after spending the better part of two years advocating for it, and against his gay and lesbian constituents.
Uganda ranks number 143 of 169 countries in theÂ Â United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index, which examines aÂ combination of health, education, and living standards. Uganda is also considered to have aÂ high number of people who are illiterate, especially women. All these factors lead to aÂ population easily indoctrinated into religious extremism.
The bill has been seen by many in the western media as aÂ diversionary tactic for aÂ government attempting to regain control amidst an increasingly angry and rioting populationâ€‰â€”â€‰one that is extremely homophobic and anti-â€‹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.
The Kill The Gays Bill also mandates jail time for those who know of homosexuals but do not report them to authorities within 24Â hours andÂ offers aÂ maximum of seven years prison time for even renting aÂ room to someone who is homosexual. Any assistance to aÂ gay man or lesbian would be considered criminal.
The bill reportedly was shelved in March, but Bahatiâ€‰â€”â€‰who has said he wants to â€œkill every last gay personâ€â€‰â€”â€‰appeared defiant, stating at the time, â€œI think that the government is aware that 95 percent of Ugandans do not condone homosexuality.â€
One week later, supporters of the bill, lead by right-â€‹wing zealot Pastor Martin Ssempa, presented to Speaker of the Uganda Parliament, Edward Ssekandi,Â aÂ petition reportedly carrying two million signatures, demanding the â€œKill The Gaysâ€ billâ€‰â€”â€‰also known as the â€œAnti-â€‹Homosexuality Billâ€â€‰â€”â€‰become law.
The â€œKill The Gaysâ€ bill, which has also become known as the â€œBahati bill,â€ is necessaryâ€‰â€”â€‰according to the team of PastorÂ Ssempa and David Bahatiâ€‰â€”â€‰because homosexuals are supposedly â€œrecruiting childrenâ€ in Uganda, and, the two claim, paying them large sums of money to have same-â€‹gender sex or to become homosexual. The petition reportedly came with aÂ list of nineteen organizations that they claim are â€œpromotingâ€ homosexuality in Uganda.
But no one has ever provided actual proof.Â Bahati, who has aÂ Cardiff UniversityÂ MBA,Â has been repeatedly asked in this country byÂ MSNBCâ€™s Rachel Maddow for any proof of these allegations. Bahati promised to provide it but never has.
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Trump DOJ Investigation Statement Contains Two Key Revelations: Former FBI Official
Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok explained two key revelations in an exclusive CNN interview with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
“Major news this morning in a story that CNN broke overnight,” CNN’s John Berman reported. “For the first time, the Department of Justice is publicly acknowledging that it is looking into a specific aspect of the plot from high-level Donald Trump allies to overturn the 2020 election.”
“We learned that federal prosecutors are reviewing the fake electoral college certifications from 2020 that falsely declared former President Trump the winner of seven states, states that he lost,” he explained.
“The fake electoral certifications were signed by Trump allies, who falsely claimed to be the rightful electors in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin.”
For analysis, Berman and co-host Brianna Keilar interviewed Strzok.
Berman noted Monacco’s “carefully chosen words.”
“How do you read it?” Berman asked.
“Well, absolutely. You know, in my experience, any time the Department of Justice or FBI makes a comment on an ongoing investigation, particularly at a high level, those words are very carefully chosen and they’re very closely scrutinized,” Strzok replied. “Certainly, when you hear them coming from the deputy attorney general herself, I have no doubt that the intention and the plan to do that was probably — went up to the attorney general and certainly the office of the attorney general.”
“And it’s important when you’re looking at a statement like that to read it very carefully and there are two things I see in there.” he explained. “One, prosecutors are looking at it. What that means to me is they are examining the allegations, they’re looking at federal law, they’re seeing what the elements of the particular crimes that might be involved are and are looking where the evidence falls and doesn’t fall.”
“And the second thing, the last point is she says she can’t comment anymore on ongoing investigations. That means exactly what it says, that means right now there are investigations — plural — that are open and ongoing within the Department of Justice about this matter,” he explained. “So that’s a very significant event and to me it indicates just how high the level of investigation is now going within DOJ.”
Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.
But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.
A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”
Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.
The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”
Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.
“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”
Read the entire Times report here.
Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’
Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”
Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”
“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”
Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”
This will kill kids, @RonDeSantisFL. You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in. In a national survey (@TrevorProject), 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year. Now they can’t talk to their teachers? https://t.co/VtfFLPlsn3
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chasten) January 20, 2022
The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”
JUST NOW: “”What kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet and saying we can’t talk about you? … [Kids] take that trauma to heart.”@Chasten on what is being called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in FL.pic.twitter.com/M1Qiz9Zt9f
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) January 25, 2022
Image by Pete for America via Flickr
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