Editor’s note: For the most up– to– date news on Uganda’s Kill The Gays bill,visit our Uganda section.
The Uganda Kill The Gays bill — still alive with the death penalty provision intact — was not discussed in the Ugandan Parliament Friday, as it adjourned without discussing any of its four highly-controversial bills. Reports say that Parliament closed on a technicality, that the Cabinet had been disbanded so a new Cabinet could be sworn in, and someone noticed that Parliamentary rules demand a Cabinet be in place for them to conduct business.
“According to parliamentary spokeswoman, Helen Kawesa, Parliament is stalled on a ‘technicality,’ writes Warren Throckmorton, who has consistently provided timely and accurate reports on Uganda. “She said there is no Cabinet in place because it was dissolved in preparation for the end of the 8th Parliament in advance of yesterday’s Presidential inauguration. It is unclear who raised the issue of the necessity for Cabinet to be place for business to be conducted. However the effect is that the session is winding up, with members discussing how to proceed before the end of the 8th Parliament on 18th.
This is merely a technicality and in no way should be viewed as any attempt to sidetrack the Kill The Gays bill, also known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB).
“Speaker of Parliament Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuk said there is no time to take up the bill this session, which ends Wednesday, leaving the bill’s future uncertain. Kiwanuk adjourned the parliament Friday and set no date for the body to return,” a report in the San Francisco Chronicle states.
“The term of office for Members of Parliament elected to the Eighth Parliament of Uganda has come to an end,” a notice on the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda Friday states. “Speaker Ssekandi announced that the official proclamation for the end of the Eighth Parliament had already been signed and would be gazetted on May 18, the day the ninth Parliament would commence.”
It is still possible for all bills in front of this Parliament to be carried into the next one.
On Thursday, in an NPR interview, MP David Bahati, author of the AHB, falsely claimed the bill “is needed because there is a lot of money coming in in our country to people who are recruiting children against their conscience into this behavior of homosexuality, and also to stop the promotion and the recruitment of our children into homosexuality.” Keep in mind Bahati has never offered credible proof of this false allegation, despite being asked repeatedly for it.
Bahati also falsely added “we have conclusive research that homosexuality is a learned behavior and can be unlearned.”
The internationally-denounced Kill The Gays bill is infamous around the world for its provision mandating the death penalty for anyone convicted of the “crime” of homosexuality, anyone convicted of same-sex rape, anyone who is classified as a “serial offender,” even anyone with HIV.
The Kill The Gays Bill also mandates jail time for those who know of homosexuals but do not report them to authorities within 24 hours and offers a maximum of seven years prison time for even renting a room to someone who is homosexual. Any assistance to a gay man or lesbian would be considered criminal.
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.
Make no mistake: the Kill The Gays bill is alive and well and will be brought back for discussion and a vote, and has every likelihood of passing — with the death penalty intact, despite what reports in the mainstream media claim. They have been wrong on this before.
We’ll be keeping our eyes open.
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