Today, Uganda’s provisional Anti-Homosexuality bill has been amended to remove the clause advocating that aggravated homosexuality be punishable by death.
A parliamentary committee has removed the most extreme of several increased punishments proposed by the provisional bill, which Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga recently promised would be passed by the end of the year.
MP Medard Segona said “substantial amendments” have been made to the draft legislation because “some of us who are human rights activists would discourage the death penalty,” but legislation was otherwise endorsed. He added that he believed the bill was likely to be debated in parliament before the Christmas break.
The death penalty is to be revised to life imprisonment, so the gay people will have the opportunity to be “rehabilitated.” Agence France Presse reported yesterday that the bill had been added to the order of parliamentary business, meaning it could go before lawmakers “in the next few days.”
Despite dropping of the clause implicating death penalty, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance warns the bill would still have a disastrous impact on the country’s HIV response. Access to treatment currently falls below 60% and, if passed, this could dramatically drop as the proposed legislation would seriously compromise the reputation of persons working with the LGBT community; such as medical doctors and civil society leaders active in the field of sexual health.