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Theresa May hosts Ugandan MP who wants gay people jailed for life

Patrick Kelleher November 11, 2018
Theresa May welcomes homophobic_Ugandan MP Downing Street

Jovah Kamateeka (Uganda Parliament) (L) and Theresa May (Jack Taylor/Getty) (R)

Prime Minister Theresa May hosted homophobic Ugandan MP Jovah Kamateeka at a reception in Downing Street on Wednesday, despite the MP’s support for anti-gay legislation.

Kamateeka was visiting Britain for the Women MPs of the World conference, according to The Sunday Times.

She is a supporter of anti-gay laws in Uganda, a country which made headlines across the globe when they tried to introduce laws that would introduce the death penalty for gay people in 2009.

Theresa May welcomes homophobic Ugandan MP to Downing Street
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty)

For this reason, the legislation was often referred to as the “Kill the Gays bill” until they substituted the death penalty clause with life imprisonment.

The anti-gay law was eventually passed in 2014, however it was later struck down by Uganda’s constitutional court, who ruled it invalid on procedural grounds.

Aggravated homosexuality

The Sunday Times reports that Kamateeka is a leading supporter of introducing a new anti-homosexuality law which would punish “aggravated homosexuality.”

During her visit, Kamateeka was hosted in the Commons by Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, where she sat with UK MPs, and was even allowed to give a speech.

Since the law was struck down, MPs in the country have demanded that it be brought back, claiming that homosexuality is “un-African.”

Last April, numerous MPs – including Kamateeka – gathered in parliament where they passed a motion to praise Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga for “standing firm” against LGBT+ rights. Kadaga was a leading force behind the “Kill the Gays bill.”

It is illegal to be gay in Uganda (Getty)

Kamateeka spoke about the need for a new anti-gay law in April, saying they should “say no to bad practices.”

“We should say no to practices and values that are not Ugandan and practices and values that are not African,” she said.

“We must be able to stand firm. That bill should come back and we pass it because we must stand firm for who we are.”

Anti-gay laws

Speaking to PinkNews last April, Edwin Sesange of the African Equality Foundation said it was sad to hear members of parliament “completely ignoring the historical facts of Uganda.”

“It is well documented that Britain forced anti-gay laws to Uganda, meaning it is homophobia which is un-African or un-Ugandan, not homosexuality.

“I appeal to them to start reclaiming the traditional values of Africa like love for all, non-discrimination, among others which were eroded by the foreign discriminatory sodomy laws.

Theresa May

“I love their energy but I am sure it can be used to tackle corruption, unemployment, declining medical services among others which are claiming lives in Uganda.”

Life in Uganda is extremely challenging for LGBT+ people, who face significant discrimination and violence.

Just last month, the first LGBT+ centre in Uganda was deemed illegal by the country’s minister for ethics and integrity, Simon Lokodo, who said homosexuality was “completely unacceptable.”

A teenage boy in Uganda was also the victim of a hate crime recently when he was beaten and burned with a flat iron by older students until he wrote a confession saying he had gay sex. The confession was then used to expel him from school.

More: Africa, Anti-gay, Downing Street, England, Jovah Kamateeka, London, parliament, Theresa May, Uganda, Uganda, women mps of the world

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