Uganda anti-gay bill back on table

By Rebecca Davis 28 October 2011

It has been reported that Ugandan MPs have voted to re-open debate on the country’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Discussion of the legislation was originally postponed because the previous parliamentary session ran out of time, but it seems things are very much back on track now. By REBECCA DAVIS.

To remind you, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill aims to make homosexuality punishable by the death penalty. It would also criminalise various related acts, such as giving jail time to people who fail to turn over gay people to the police, and people who “promote” homosexuality. The bill was originally proposed in October 2009 by Ugandan parliamentarian David Bahati, and drew horror from the international community. But this Tuesday the parliamentary Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, informed parliament that the bill is now being sent for vetting to various parliamentary committees before returning for a final vote.

Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper reported MP Barnabus Tinkasimire launching a spirited defence of the bill during Tuesday’s parliamentary session, saying that the “spirit of his ancestors” told him “they lived without these practices”. Tinkasimire urged the parliament not to weight the need for donor money higher than the need to eliminate “such ills in our society”. If the Ugandan parliament passes the act, one outcome (other than a probable flurry of asylum requests to other nations from Ugandan gays) is almost certain to be a big cut of UK funding. Earlier this month the UK Secretary for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, announced that the UK would reduce financial assistance to any African countries which persecute homosexuals. They have already suspended £19 million to Malawi for this reason, and Mitchell explicitly warned that Uganda stood to suffer the same fate if they pressed ahead with this kind of legislation. It remains to be seen whether this punishment will be sufficient deterrent. DM

Read more:

  • Uganda Parliament Votes to Continue Anti-Homosexual Bill, on Bloomberg.

Photo: Queen Elizabeth II addressing the Ugandan Parliament in November 2007. The UK has threatened to cut aid funding to Uganda if it passes its controversial Anti-Homosexuality bill. Reuters.


While we have your attention...

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.

Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.

Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.

Election 2019

Maimane takes hardline on illegal immigration at DA’s 2019 campaign manifesto launch

By Ferial Haffajee

Canola oil is named such as to remove the "rape" from its origin as rapeseed oil.