Uganda’s Anti-gay bill can now be voted on at anytime

November 22, 2012
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Reports out of Uganda say the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill is now up for debate and can be voted on at any moment.

Earlier this month, Rebecca Kadaga, speaker of the Ugandan parliament, promised to bring a vote on the proposed law – first introduced in 2009 – as “a Christmas gift” to the population.

Ugandans “are demanding it,” she said, reiterating a promise she made after returning from a conference in Canada last month.

The bill has been scheduled for an “order of business to follow” and could be passed on Thursday, or any time thereafter.

It is expected to be easily passed by MPs, and then it will be up to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to decide if it should go on the statute book.

If vetoed by the president, the veto could be overturned by the Ugandan assembly.

“This bill won’t stop us,” said Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). “We will continue to fight until we are free of this legislation. We cannot have oppression forever.”

Homosexual acts are already considered a crime in Uganda, and can lead up to 14 years in prison.

While the final bill has not been made publicly available, it would make existing legislation even stricter, establishing life imprisonment as the punishment for being in a same-sex relationship and the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”.

US President Barack Obama has described it as “odious,” while some European countries have threatened to cut aid to Uganda if the bill becomes law.

Related topics: Africa, Africa, anti-gay law, Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Frank Mugisha, homophobic law, Sexual Minorities Uganda, SMUG, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda, Uganda

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