Ugandan bill 'to stop promotion of gay rights'

2012-02-10 09:58

Kampala – A Ugandan lawmaker behind a proposed draconian anti-gay bill that sparked an international outcry said on Friday that the bill was now focused on criminalising public discussion of homosexuality with a heavy prison sentence.

David Bahati said the bill was now focused on stopping the promotion of gay rights, saying he wanted to drop clauses that would see the death penalty introduced for certain homosexual acts.

"There will be no death penalty at all...that will go," Bahati, the legislator who formulated the bill, told AFP.

Bahati said he wanted to scrap proposals to punish "aggravated homosexuality", which includes someone deemed to be a "serial offender" with the death sentence.

The MP reintroduced the controversial bill on Tuesday after lawmakers ran out of time to debate the measure last year and voted to pass it on to the new session of parliament.

Parliament officials said on Thursday that the bill - which US President Barack Obama has described as "odious" - had been reintroduced in its original format, which included the death penalty clause.

However, Bahati said the proposed legislation was already in the process of being changed, following recommendations made during the last parliament.

"The death penalty is not part of the process that we are talking about," Bahati said, adding he was also dropping proposals to jail family members if they failed to report gay relatives to the authorities.

Proposals to jail people who said they were married to someone of the same sex would also be scrapped, he said.

"Those are not part of it," Bahati said.

The bill, as it was originally proposed, would have introduced the death sentence for anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for the second time, as well as for gay sex where one partner is a minor or has HIV.

Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but the proposed bill has previously attracted heavy criticism for the draconian penalties it proposed.

The bill enjoys widespread backing from Ugandan lawmakers but the government on Wednesday said that it did not support the proposed legislation, although it defended parliament's right to discuss it.

  • pieterjacobushugo - 2012-02-10 10:08

    Oh, so everything's ok now? Why are these bigots so fascinated by homosexuality. They just cannot get enough of it.

      Doc - 2012-02-10 10:14

      lol, Shakespeare said it best "I dare say the lady doth protest too much"

      Samuel - 2012-02-10 10:21

      Strange, they could focus their time, engergy and financial resources on their economy and upliftment of the community yet they keep coming back to this.

      rbczovczov - 2012-02-11 07:35

      I think every country in the world should just hold a referendum on whether to have gay rights or not and let the people decide. This topic is just too sensitive and controversial to be left to politicians. After all thats what democracy is all about. Besides, homosexuality is a complicated issue which in some countries clashes head on with culture and religion. Its also every human being's right to have his or her own opinion on homosexuality be it in support or against. Just like anyone can come out in support of homosexuality, anyone should also be free to come out against it without being condemned or ridiculed. This practice of trying to force homosexuality down people's throats actually does more harm for gay rights than good. This is just my own opinion to which I am fully entitled according o our democracy, so please don't insult or condemn me just because you disagree with what I said.

      Riaan - 2012-02-11 12:36

      rbczovczov Can us homos also hold a referendum to decide whether heteros should have any rights? Or even better, whites to decide if black should have any rights. Remember, you can't demand a set of rights for one part of the population and deny rights to another.

  • Doc - 2012-02-10 10:09

    I propose that a bill be passed that makes it a criminal offence to force religious, fanatical and homophobic ideals on to others. These perpetrators will undoubtedly out themselves as their egos will not allow them to shut up, hence identifying them would be easy. A life sentence is proposed for third time offenders and the death penalty for those who practice on young kids.

      Doc - 2012-02-10 10:16

      Oh, and anyone reporting their relatives or friends who practice this idiocy in private will be richly rewarded by the state.

  • Samuel - 2012-02-10 10:16

    Shame, yet another rediculous law from a sh*t hole, third world, African country.

  • Egsaan - 2012-02-10 10:24

    The people of the country don't have a problem.

      Doc - 2012-02-10 10:43

      They dare not have a problem, read the article, it will be a criminal offence to even discuss it. Many had a problem with apartheid yet very little spoke up for fear of persecution.

  • Paul - 2012-02-10 10:43

    Why is it 'draconian'?

      patrick.saunders123 - 2012-02-10 10:49

      Why are you even here?

      kosie.eloff - 2012-02-10 13:33

      "Draconian is an adjective meaning great severity, that derives from Draco, an Athenian law scribe under whom small offences had heavy punishments (Draconian laws)."

  • jaz82 - 2012-02-10 10:53

    Funny that homosexuality is so illega and wanto kill people, but the country is in such a shambles, no one put their energy in to that.

      Heiku - 2012-02-10 10:59

      The country is not "in a shambles"

  • thozi - 2012-02-10 11:01

    Just scrap the whole Bill in its entirety and stop discriminating against fellow human beings. I just can't believe that, at this day and age, there are still some (backward-minded) politicians who are still determined to hunt down and make the lives of homosexuals miserable. Just let them be; happy and 'gay'.

  • Dean - 2012-02-10 11:11

    No other pressing issues in Uganda at the moment? Poverty, health, education all sorted out? Dumb asses.

  • Samkele Sofuthe - 2012-02-10 11:21

    I wonder what's the process of determining if some 1 is gay or not..maybe get a guy with a big cute round ass dance in front of the accused if he gets turned on..he dies..just wondering..And we crying for some gay guys killed in uganda whereas unborn kids are butchered daily here in our own country..just saying

      Doc - 2012-02-10 11:33

      Good one, believe it or not I was reading about some DNA test that some company claims to have developed that can determine your sexual preference. Your proposal sounds cheaper and easier to implement though :-)

  • Samkele Sofuthe - 2012-02-10 11:22

    I wonder what's the process of determining if some 1 is gay or not..maybe get a guy with a big cute round ass dance in front of the accused if he gets turned on..he dies..just wondering..And we crying for some gay guys killed in uganda whereas unborn kids are butchered daily here in our own country..just saying

  • richard.botha1 - 2012-02-10 11:54

    Just remember all of you that have been so keen on basing these people that would rather see society based on true morals are just expressing the views of your own archaic religion. We are still going to have to account at the end of the day for our actions. "Lest we forget" AIDS was first spread by homosexual activity, fact. Yes it did spread to the heterosexual society, but one must never forget the source of all these things. Uganda has suffered tremendously under the scourge of AIDS and maybe the so called backward moral values that they are now trying to impose are the morals that will finally save them from this. It is time that the Liberal Religious Left comes out of the closet and stops hiding behind the disguise of freedom for all and admit that they are bigots that are trying to force their immorality on the majority. I want to applaud those that are willing to stand up to their convictions and that are trying to represent the silent majority. Rom 1:24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts,.... Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another; males with males working out shamefulness, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error. Rom 1:28 And even as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do the things not right,

      pieterjacobushugo - 2012-02-10 12:03

      What on earth has your god to do with me? You might as well be talking about flying teapots. Your religion and set of morals do not trump mine. How about we let you be who you want to be, and then you in return show the decency not to thrust that god of yours down my throat?

      Pieter - 2012-02-10 12:30

      Then I will pick up arms against you. If you try to kill us we will kill you. My life is worth just as much as the next person. AND your 'fact' about gays spreading aids, bulllllllll... The first CASE documented was of a homosexual.That is hardly proof of who initially spread the disease. Go do more research fool. I will defend my life and my lifestyle in any way deemed necessary.

      Anakin - 2012-02-10 14:23

      Your god is a really angry vindictive spiteful god, but besides that what exactly is (a) a silent majority (b) what is my 'own archaic religion' exactly? Also, AIDS comes from a virus, which does not adhere to any religion or belief or dogma, it just IS a virus, and can infect anyone. Then "We are still going to have to account at the end of the day for our actions" - who is "we", what gives YOU the right to speak on behalf of others and impose your 'judgemental ideals' onto others? Then you have the audacity to quote from your "holy scriptures" to amplify your savage judgemental views. Oh, sorry, Uganda is THE paradise to be in, plenty of food clean water, sanitation for everyone, the ONLY one miniscule last obstacle to overcome is that of homosexual "we" understand: The blind must pray for healing, the sick must pray to be healed and forgiven (sin and more sin), the hungry must sacrifice themselves to the gods. Please take your horrible bible with you and don't come back, your god is angry and lusts for blood and burning flesh. And don't forget to stone to death any unbelievers on your next crusade of vengeance and justice.

      Martino - 2012-02-10 16:04

      Go on, Pieter, go on with your lifestyle. Just remember, you will not be able to say you have not been warned one day.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-10 16:48

      Here we go again - the only people who express hated for gay people are, wait for it, those loving Christians Richard.Botha1 and Martino. When some religious people want to use ancient texts to justify acting upon their prejudices, citing the book of Leviticus suits them just fine. On the other hand, when such people want to indulge in practices prohibited by those same ancient texts, ignoring the bible suits them just fine. For example, Leviticus. Particularly the bit about no tattoos. It's amusing stuff. I frequently wonder why, among the many rules and prescriptions therein, Christians don't sacrifice oxen or go to the "priest" to be inspected for "white marks". It's all there, right next to the warning regarding the abomination of homosexuality

      Irene - 2012-02-10 17:36

      Richard and Martino ~ Why are you so afraid of your own homosexuality? Pricks!

  • Marilyn - 2012-02-12 00:13

    It is a black mark against American religious extremist that they support hate for gays in Ugandan.

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