Main | Friday, May 13, 2011

UGANDA: "Kill Gays" Bill Shelved

Today Uganda's parliament adjourned its legislative season without considering the horrific bill legalizing the death penalty for people accused of homosexuality.
Lawmakers had been due to debate the legislation calling for capital punishment notably for consensual gay sex where one partner has the HIV virus. The United States, a major aid donor to Uganda, said Thursday that nothing could justify passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Parliament speaker Edward Ssekandi said he was "adjourning this house," effectively killing off the debate over the controversial legislation for this parliament. David Bahati, the lawmaker behind the anti-gay bill, said that no bills could be passed as the cabinet was dissolved following the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday following a landslide election victory in February. But he said that even if the bill was not passed this session it had achieved the goal of sparking a debate that would continue when the new parliament convenes. "We have made important steps in raising the issue and that will continue," he said.
Activists warn that the bill could return in the next parliament. Earlier this week Rep. Barney Frank and the U.S. State Department denounced the bill with warnings to cut off financial aid to Uganda should it pass.

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