Uganda Parliament Expected to Vote Down 'Kill the Gays' Bill
Special Committee's Ruling Strong Sign 'Kill the Gays' Bill Could Be Voted Down
Public backlash to Ugandan MP David Bahati's Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 from various political, religious, and human rights' groups world-wide, invoked Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni to form a special committee in February in response to the International scrutiny. The special committee's ruling could spell setback for Bahati's 'Kill the Gays' bill--Uganda's Parliament is expected to vote down the bill.
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- Uganda's Daily Monitor raises its voice on behalf of defenseless
- Human rights groups blast Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009
Committee Opposes Anti-Homosexuality Legislation
Committee chairman and lawmaker Adolf Mwesige said that "virtually all clauses in the legislation were either unconstitutional or redundant, and that any other clauses should be placed in another bill dealing generaly with sexual offenses."
“Ninety-nine percent of all the proposals in the Bahati bill have been done before,” Mr. Mwesige said. “If we proceeded, it would definitely provoke criticism, and rightly so.”
Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill, which includes a section that would introduce the death penalty for the offence of "aggravated homosexuality" was introduced by David Bahati on October 14, 2009 in Uganda's parliament.
The Anti-Homosexuality bill clearly violates the human right to non-discrimination, to be free from violence and harassment, the right to life, the right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and freedom of movement.
Uganda's Penal Code Article 145a of the Penal Code Act of 1950 already criminalizes "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" – a charge used to prosecute, persecute and blackmail LGBT people with the threat of life imprisonment.
According to the New York Times, even though the Special Committee's ruling is not the final word, analysts saw the statement as a strong sign the Bahati bill would eventually be dropped. Mwesige also indicates expectations the anti-homosexuality bill will be voted down.
Gay rights activists in Uganda were hopeful on Saturday that that would be the case. “So far the recommendations are welcomed by the community,” said Kasha Jacqueline, director of Freedom and Roam Uganda.
Mr. Mwesige said he expected the full Parliament to vote down the bill within weeks. “The influence of the cabinet is very important. If it takes a decision, it must be taken seriously.”