Amid riots of rising gas and food prices and brutal government crackdowns on dissent, forces behind Uganda’s infamous “Kill The Gays” bill have pushed for parliamentary hearings today with a possible final vote before next Wednesday if the bill makes it out of committee.
The Uganda native blogger at Gay Uganda believes the government has fast-tracked the bill as an attempt to distract Ugandan citizens from their worsening domestic situation and to unite the public against gays as a common enemy. He expects the bill to easily pass through parliament and urges every person and human rights organization interested in stopping it to condemn it in the harshest terms. And just in case you don’t remember how horrific the bill is, here’s a reminder:
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, if passed in its current form, would impose the death penalty for those who are HIV-positive, “repeat offenders,” or those whose partner is deemed “disabled” regardless of whether the relationship was consensual. It would also impose a lifetime sentences for other cases. The bill would lower the bar for conviction, making the mere “touching” for the perceived purpose of homosexual relations a criminal offense. It threatens teachers, doctors, friends, and family members with three years imprisonment if they don’t report anyone they suspected of being gay to police within twenty-four hours. It also would broadly criminalize all advocacy of homosexuality including, conceivably, lawyers defending accused gay people in court or parliamentarians proposing changes to the law. It even threatens landlords under a “brothel” provision if they knowingly rent to gay people.
Though the bill’s sponsor have said they’ll drop the death penalty, life imprisonment in a Ugandan jail is arguably worse. We also wonder if the Palm Springs guy with the “Leviticus 20:13/Ever Read it?” t-shirt will attend the parliamentary hearings. Surely he supports keeping the death penalty clause in there.
Image via Towleroad