Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Uganda to pass anti-gay law as 'Christmas gift'

2012-11-14 02:19:57

Ugandan Gay Laws

Uganda will pass a new law against homosexuality by the end of 2012 as a "Christmas gift" to its advocates, the speaker of parliament has said.

The AP news agency quoted Rebecca Kadaga as saying that Ugandans were "demanding" the law.

Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda, but the bill which is before parliament proposes tougher sentences for people convicted.

Foreign donors have threatened to cut aid if gay rights are not respected.

The bill, tabled by MP David Bahati, proposes jail terms for homosexual acts, including a life sentence in certain circumstances.

It prohibits the "promotion" of gay rights and calls for the punishment of anyone who "funds or sponsors homosexuality" or "abets homosexuality".

But a clause which calls for the death penalty against people found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality" - defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a "serial offender" - is to be dropped, Mr Bahati has said.

Diplomatic spat

The bill was strongly condemned last year by Western leaders, including US President Barack Obama who described it as "odious".

International donors have threatened to cut off aid to Uganda if the country does not do more to protect the rights of gay people.

Ms Kadaga said she hoped the bill, first tabled in 2009 and now before a parliamentary committee, would be passed by the end of the year, Reuters news agency reports.


Rebecca Kadaga quote

"Ugandans want that law as a Christmas gift. They have asked for it and we'll give them that gift," Ms Kadaga is quoted as saying.

Last month, Ms Kadaga was involved in a row with Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird over gay rights at a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Quebec.

When Mr Bairn warned Uganda not to trample on people's human rights, Ms Kadaga replied: "If homosexuality is a value for the people of Canada they should not seek to force Uganda to embrace it. We are not a colony or a protectorate of Canada."

She received a rapturous welcome from several hundred anti-gay activists, including religious leaders, at Uganda's Entebbe airport when she returned from her trip.

In June, Uganda's Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo said 38 non-governmental organisations which he accused of promoting homosexuality would be banned.

Clare Byarugaba, the co-ordinator of Uganda's Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, said the group would challenge the law in the constitutional court, Reuters reports.

"The international community supports us and we also believe in the constitution of our country which protects the rights and freedoms of everyone," she is quoted as saying.

Correspondents say many Ugandans are deeply conservative, and say homosexuality is against their religious and cultural beliefs.

Source: bbc.co.uk

Share this story

Related Stories

Afro news around the web

Africa Top10 Lifestyle & Travel News

Find your purpose for fulfilment

'They deserve more respect'

Voice35 Years: Third black person dies in police cell

Africa’s 5 Busiest Airports

Entrepreneur Empowers Black Men To Reclaim Their Narratives

R. Kelly Performs In North Carolina Amid Protesters And Rubs Cell Phone Between His Legs In Defiance

Venture Capitalist Firm To Invest $36M In Black Women Founders

Londoners embark on ‘The Big Walk’ to celebrate community

The homeless young mother who turned her life around

Image Slider