Don’t think that just because the infamous “Kill the Gays” bills is still being discussed in the Uganda Parliament that the Legislature supports it. That’s just silly!A statement from the government addressing criticism by LGBT activists and global rights activists explained that while “the bill is not part of the government’s legislative agenda… debate on it must go on” because of parliamentary procedures, reports the AP’s Rodney Muhumuza.
The statement reads in part:
“As a parliamentary democracy the process of debate will continue. Whilst the government of Uganda does not support this bill, it is required under our constitution to facilitate this debate. The facilitation of this debate should not be confused for the government’s support for this bill.”
The original bill—which proposed the death penalty for certain acts (like HIV+ gay people having sex) and jail terms for others (heterosexuals not ratting out gay friends and neighbors)—was tabled last year. On Tuesday, legislator David Bahati reintroduced the bill, but without the death penalty provision. Instead it imposes life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality.”
We’re pretty sure we saw some of that at the Abbey on Saturday night.
Good thing straight people don’t indulge in sex trafficking!
In his report, Muhumuza says its unclear whether the bill will ever reach a parliamentary vote, though its thought it would pass easily. It’s really only the will of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (left) keeping it at bay, most likely because the outrage from the international community would have devastating consequences for trade and aid to the country. Back in 2009, he seemed tickled pink about the idea of slaughtering gays and lesbians, saying “We used to say Mr and Mrs, but now it is Mr and Mr. What is that now?”
But, as ever in politics, money talks and bullshit walks. Museveni, who took power way back in 1986, realizes how damaging the blowback would be, so he’s distancing himself from such extremist legislation.
In the list of accomplishments the Obama Administration has achieved on behalf of the LGBT community, it’s looking like tying foreign aid to gay rights is quickly becoming one of the most important and far-reaching.