Uganda’s infamous Kill The Gays bill (AHB) is back in the hands of its Parliament, and stealth anti-gay forces are campaigning for the bill’s quiet passage, after a verbal showdown between the President’s Cabinet, and the bill’s author, David Bahati. The Cabinet last week once again recommended the bill be thrown out, as many in the media had erroneously reported had happened when time merely ran out at the end of Parliament’s last session in May.
Paul Canning of LGBT Asylum News writes today in SDGLN, “the bill is believed to be – quietly – coming back to the Parliament within a fortnight, and it is said that Ugandan government ministers have been, “[q]uietly appealing to MPs to pass the bill via letters and emails.”
Reports are coming in that the Cabinet Wednesday had “finally thrown out the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 on the advice of Mr Adolf Mwesige, the ruling party lawyer.” But as anyone vaguely familiar with parliamentary procedure, only the Parliament, not the Cabinet, can dismiss a bill. The Cabinet can recommend, but not throw out, a bill.
So, it appears that a campaign is underway to quietly pass the AHB in Parliament, while the media and international onlookers are led to believe the bill is actually dead.
The Kill The Gays bill’s author David Bahati was quick to remind all of Uganda of this fact, stating the Executive branch should stop “playing hide-and-seek games” with his bill. “The future of this country’s children will be determined by the peoples’ representatives in Parliament,” Bahati told The Daily Monitor Saturday.
The Kill The Gays bill, which is the brainchild of American Evangelicals is lamed to be a tool to save and protect Uganda’s children, whom homophobic bigots like Bahati and his ilk claim are being “recruited” into homosexuality, and paid for it as well.
Warren Throckmorton adds, “Even though the bill might be slowed by the Cabinet’s reluctance to push ahead, Mwesige also called for enforcement of existing law (prohibition of unnatural carnal knowledge). If so, Uganda’s GLBT community could still face a worsening situation going forward.”
“Currently, budget meetings are on the agenda but a budget is slated to get a vote by next Wednesday,” Throckmorton adds in a separate article. “After that, other business, including the anti-gay bill could be considered. As of now, according to Kawesa, there is no official action scheduled for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill but she said the bill could come up at any time after the budget has been passed.”
Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin notes, “This would indicate that not only is the bill very much alive, but is being actively worked in Parliament. If so, then the bill’s backers were already successful in reviving the bill without garnering any notice from the news media.”
The Kill The Gays bill, also known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and monikered for its author’s popularity by some as the Bahati Bill, demands the death penalty for anyone found guilty of the “crime” of homosexuality, and calls for varying degrees of punishment for those who are HIV-positive, up to and including death, as well as mandatory jail terms for anyone, including family members, who do not immediately report suspected homosexuals to law enforcement authorities. The bill also calls for the deportation back into Uganda for Ugandan citizens who stand accused of homosexuality but are living in foreign countries.
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