Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill on way to Parliament from Committee

Watch for protests to Start Next Week in U.S.A.

By Melanie Nathan, November 23, 2012.

The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill is closer to entering the Parliament and likely to be heard next week.  It has been on the Paper Orders (Agenda) for the past two days. The Bill will leave the committee and will not be debated today,  but it seems likely to come up next week for debate and passage in Parliament.

Warren Throckmorton reports that according to spokesman Nsimbe Kassim, the report from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee will not come before Parliament today but will probably come up next week.  “The main business today is more work on the bills relating to the oil industry in Uganda. According to yesterday’s agenda, Parliament must get through two Petroleum Bills, the Accountants Bill, a resolution to encourage a bail out of a steel mill and consideration of a report on the energy sector before debate on the anti-gay bill.”

The Bill has completed its time in Committee where according to the  report from the BBC, they have dropped the death penalty. This has happened before, but it was not to be believed.  In May 2011, MPs said the death penalty had been dropped when in fact it was still in the bill.  However this time  Committee chair Stephen Tashobya is quoted as saying the report is complete and others speaking off camera say that the penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” will now be life in prison. This report indicates that action on the bill will take place next week.

The BBC:

A committee of Ugandan MPs has endorsed the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill but dropped the death penalty provision, an MP has told the BBC.

MP Medard Segona said “substantial amendments” had been made to the bill but said he was not allowed to reveal further details.

Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga recently said the bill would be passed as a “Christmas gift” to its advocates.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda – this bill increases the penalties.

Foreign donors have threatened to cut aid if gay rights are not respected.

The bill, tabled by MP David Bahati, proposes longer jail terms for homosexual acts, including a life sentence in certain circumstances.

In its original form, those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender” – faced the death penalty.

Some of us who are human rights activists would discourage the death penalty”

Medard Segona Ugandan MP

Such offences would now be punished with life imprisonment, it is understood.

The original bill also prohibited the “promotion” of gay rights and called for the punishment of anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality”.

Today members of grassroots Gay organizations in the U.S.A., are starting to mobilize to organize protests against the Bill and these protests will be held on the East Coast and West Coast, next week, regardless of whether or not the death penalty remains in the BIll.  The Bill is harsh and untenable in all its content and the international LGBT community stands by the Ugandans in the prayer and hope that the Bill will not be passed. However if it does make it to Parliament which is highly likely next week, it is probably going to pass.

The BBC piece can be read here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20463887

Contact: Melanie Nathan, nathan@privatecourts.com

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21 Comments on “Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill on way to Parliament from Committee”

  1. Tracy November 23, 2012 at 8:12 AM #

    Where are the public outcries of this? Where is the UK? USA? Wtf?

    It is an outrage…I have written to my reps.

    • Melanie Nathan November 23, 2012 at 8:30 AM #

      e were asked by Ugandan activists prior to this point to curb out reactions. However now we have been asked to go out and protest – we are having grassroots meetings today to arrange major protests for next week,

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