Uganda To Pass Controversial Anti-Gay Bill
November 13, 2012
The now notorious anti-gay legislation, which was first proposed by Parliament member David Bahati and is known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, is set to become law in Uganda by the end of the year. Homosexual acts are already a crime in Uganda, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but this new legislation will impose harsher punishments and expanded restrictions. The bill includes the death penalty to those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” and life imprisonment for those convicted of the offense of homosexuality.
Yesterday, Rebecca Kadaga – speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, announced that the bill was being passed. According to the AP:
“Ugandans “are demanding it,” she said, reiterating a promise she made before a meeting on Friday of anti-gay activists who spoke of “the serious threat” posed by homosexuals to Uganda’s children. Some Christian clerics at the meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, asked the speaker to pass the law as “a Christmas gift.”
“Speaker, we cannot sit back while such (a) destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation,” the activists said in a petition. “We therefore, as responsible citizens, feel duty-bound to bring this matter to your attention as the leader of Parliament … so that lawmakers can do something to quickly address the deteriorating situation in our nation.”
The anti-gay activists paraded in front of Kadaga, with parents and schoolchildren holding up signs saying homosexuality is “an abomination.” The speaker then promised to consider the bill within two weeks, declaring that “the power is in our hands.”
“Who are we not to do what they have told us? These people should not be begging us,” Kadaga said of activists who want the bill to become law.
The root cause of this extreme legislation and homophobia? American Christian evangelicals, of course. Several governments and human rights organizations have publicly condemned Uganda for the bill and the European Union has said that they will cut financial aid to Uganda when the bill passes.