Current Speaker of the Ugandan government, Rebecca Kadaga, has promised to pass the anti-gay bill by the end of 2012, as the majority of Ugandans are “demanding it.”

Referring to the bill as a “Christmas gift” to eradicate “the serious threat” that homosexuals pose, Kadaga assured further criminalization of homosexuals by the end of the year. The meeting in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, was attended by hundreds of petitioners and several religious leaders, demanding the law be extended to divide homosexuality into two categories:  aggravated homosexuality and the offence of homosexuality.

Aggravated homosexuality includes gay acts committed by parents, authority figures, HIV-positive persons, paedophiles and repeat offenders – anyone convicted will face death penalty. The offense of homosexuality will result in life imprisonment, for sex-same relationships or sexual acts. Currently, homosexual acts, or “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” are illegal under Ugandan penal code, but Kadaga promises harsher punishments for a wider scope of crimes.

Also known as the Bahati Bill, it was originally put to government in 2009 but has since been delayed due to international backlash – including Barack Obama naming it “odious.” The law is likely to pass before 2013, despite warnings international funding to Uganda could dry up as a result.

“The anti-Homosexuality Bill is not a priority for Ugandans, many of whom will not live to celebrate this Christmas, if nothing is done now to alleviate their poverty and restore their livelihood,” says Stephen Oola, a transitional justice and governance analyst at Makerere University’s Refugee Law Project.

Following Friday’s protest out a school in Kampala, where parents and children held up signs saying homosexuality is ‘an abomination,’ Kadaga declared: “Parliament has been energized because you have given us the instructions. We have the bill; we have the order paper and the numbers [to pass it].”

This is despite the recent release of Call Me Kuchu, documenting David Kato’s death, and the country’s first ever gay pride this summer. Perhaps the push for progress came too soon for Uganda.

Sign the petition: ‘UK refuse to give aid to Uganda if ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ is passed’.


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