Parliament speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s promise to pass the African nation’s anti-homosexuality bill by Christmas have proven empty as lawmakers meet for the last time today before adjourning for the New Year, Gay Star News reports.
The proposed bill, which would seek to imprison people for committing homosexual acts, has been on the parliamentary schedule for the last two weeks, and has slipped from a top priority down to number seven on the governing body’s agenda.
Parliament is scheduled to close today, moving discussion of the bill to January 13 at the earliest. Kadaga could ask for an extension to review the bill, but amidst an international outcry, the Ugandan government’s support for the legislation appears to be wavering.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi told Uganda’s WBS TV that the government won’t support the bill because “it is already covered” by the country’s existing laws. Mbabazi did, however, hint at passing a law banning the “promotion” of homosexuality much like that other bastion of social progress, Russia.
While Kadaga’s dreams of slipping a hateful piece of legislation down Uganda’s chimney may go unfulfilled, she at least got a decent consolation prize: a blessing from the Pope. On Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI blessed Kadaga, who, ironically, was attending a human rights conference at, even more ironically, The Vatican.
Of the meeting, Kadaga said it was a “moment that cannot be repeated.” And it really, really shouldn’t have taken place to begin with.