'Kill the Gays' bill moves ever closer in Uganda

Published: February 15, 2013

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which failed to reach the floor of Uganda’s parliament in the sessions of 2009 and 2012, is moving closer to consideration in the 2013 session.

It has gradually moved higher on the Notice of Business to Follow list in the parliament’s daily Order Papers since this year’s session began:

    No. 8 on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
    No. 8 on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
    No. 6 on Thursday, Feb. 7.
    No. 7 on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
    No. 4 on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
    No. 3 on Thursday, Feb. 14.

The Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law. an alliance of groups opposing the bill, warned earlier this week that the bill could be put to a vote any day now.

The bill, nicknamed the “Kill the Gays” bill, was first proposed in 2009 by member of parliament David Bahati. In the first version of the bill, which reportedly remains unchanged despite supporters’ statements to the contrary, repeat offenders would be executed.

Ugandan law already provides for sentences of up to life imprisonment for homosexual activity.

The bill would require people to report suspected homosexuals to police. Parents would be required to report potentially gay children to police; doctors would be required to report potentially gay patients; priests would be required to report potentially gay parishioners.

Organizations serving LGBT people, including health services fighting AIDS, would be outlawed.

If parliament approves the bill, it would go to President Yoweri Museveni for his signature. If he did not sign it, parliament could enact it on a two-third vote.

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