Uganda parliament set to re-introduce anti-gay law

Kampala - Uganda's parliament will try to re-introduce an anti-homosexuality law that was thrown out by a court, a lawmaker leading the effort said on Wednesday, a move that could once again damage relations with the West.

Last week, the east African country's constitutional court nullified the law, signed by President Yoweri Museveni in February, on a technicality, saying it had been passed by parliament without quorum.

That ruling - two days before the president flew to Washington for a US-Africa summit - appeared to have handed Museveni a way out of a dilemma by striking down a law that he had backed enthusiastically but which was condemned by Western countries and threatened vital aid and investment.

It was not immediately clear whether Museveni would support the bill a second time, if passed by parliament again.

"We're mobilising members to pledge their support for re-introduction of this bill when the House comes back from recess [in about two weeks' time]," Abdu Latif Ssebaggala, told Reuters.

Ssebaggala said he had started collecting signatures on Tuesday of members of parliament in favour of re-introducing the bill and that he expected to have over 200 - in a house of 383 members - by the end of Wednesday.

Homosexuality is taboo in much of Africa and is illegal in 37 countries there. But the punishments in Uganda were among the harshest.

Under the Anti-Homosexuality Act, the crime of "aggravated homosexuality" - someone with HIV having gay sex or anyone having gay sex with someone considered "vulnerable", such as a disabled person - was punishable by life in jail.

The United States, Uganda's biggest donor, called the law "atrocious" and compared it to anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany and apartheid in South Africa. In June, Washington reduced aid, imposed visa restrictions and cancelled a military exercise with Uganda in response.

The World Bank, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands also suspended or redirected aid. Sweden resumed financial support to Uganda last week.

Ssebaggala said that as the law had already been debated, it could be put directly to a vote.

During the bill signing, Museveni said homosexuality was emblematic of the West's "social imperialism" in Africa. Powerful Christian groups with links to US evangelical movements call homosexuality an imported Western social evil.

Brad Kavoki 2014/08/06 01:39:36 PM
guess they were waiting for donor money to come through
Annette 2014/08/06 01:41:34 PM
stop all international aid into Africa !!!!!!
Anakin Stealthwalker 2014/08/06 01:51:03 PM
"Powerful Christian groups with links to US evangelical movements call homosexuality an imported Western social evil" RELIGION - again, interfering in everything... >>> Back from the future...>>>
BarakYeshua ForPeace 2014/08/06 03:07:17 PM
I don't really care where gays want to stick their poles, it is between consenting adults, but you can't compare Uganda's anti-gay laws to S.A Apartheid or the Nazis persecution of the Jews, because homosexuality is a choice, while your race is not. You can't change your race, but you CAN abstain from homosexual acts! So the argument from the USA does hold up to scrutiny. I agree that anyone having sex with another person, whether homosexual OR heterosexual, while they now they are HIV positive, should be jailed for life, as to me that is a criminal act - likened to murder!
Willie Olivier 2014/08/06 03:14:08 PM
So is taking fotos of yourself also a "sin" Taken any fotos of yourself lately Mambo Jambo?
Mundus Uys 2014/08/06 03:47:59 PM
Where you stand on homosexuality is irrelevant. This is a matter of principle: Liberties of minorities must always be protected. Labeling homosexuality as "unafrican" or "an imported Western social evil" is such a primitive way of thinking. It reminds me of an interview with Julius Malema on 3rd degree, about Caster Semenya, when JM said he spoke to three chiefs and all of them agree that there is no such thing as intersex. Also, it appears most people think homosexuality is a choice - it is not. You are what you are and that's OK with me. South Africa should take a stand against the +-37 anti-gay countries in Africa.
Saffa 2014/08/06 03:58:08 PM
If homo is genetic, why do homo men still have testicles and produce sperm, hm? And why do homo women still have ovaries and produce egg cells? What would a homosexual need perfectly functioning reproductive organs for?? What would the point be if their homo genes clearly determined that is was going to produce a homosexual?? No argument! Homo is in the mind and a lustfilled, perverse, vulgar personal choice. HOMO IS EVIL!!!
Painted Canvas 2014/08/07 09:59:47 AM
Ok, the begging mission to Obama is over. Back to jungle mentality. Cut off all aid and investment to Uganda and other countries with shocking human rights records. Let them rot in their own misery,