Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ bill is back & it may be even worse

A Ugandan man is seen during the third Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride celebrations in Entebbe, Uganda, on Aug. 9, 2014.

A Ugandan man is seen during the third Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride celebrations in Entebbe, Uganda, on Aug. 9, 2014. Photo: Alex Bollinger

Uganda’s government announced that it’s planning to re-introduce a bill to impose the death penalty on homosexuality.

The majority-Christian country got international attention when it first presented the bill in 2009. It eventually passed in 2013 but was struck down in 2014 by Uganda’s Constitutional Court for a procedural issue.

Related: Archbishop of Uganda condemns sex ed, says it ‘promotes homosexuality’

“Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that,” Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo told Reuters.

Currently, homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and punishable with seven years in prison.

Lokodo said that the purpose of the bill is to expand the current ban on homosexuality to recognize “promotion and recruitment” of homosexuality.

“Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalizes the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalized. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence.”

President Yoweri Museveni supports the bill and Lokodo said that it will be formally introduced in parliament in a few weeks. He said he is confident that the bill will pass because they have already been lobbying members of parliament.

“We have been talking to the MPs and we have mobilized them in big numbers,” he said. “Many are supportive.”

The bill was dubbed the “Kill the Gays” bill the last time it was introduced and passed in Uganda’s parliament. At the time, activists noted amount of time Christian conservatives from America were spending in attempts to influence Uganda’s government to oppress its LGBTQ people more.

Later this month, the anti-LGBTQ organization World Congress of Families will hold a regional conference in Ghana, and several American anti-LGBTQ activists like Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage and Sharon Slater of Family Watch International plan to attend.


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