The way Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill has become the subject of so much rumor and misinformation, you’d think it was Bigfoot—not one of the scariest pieces of legislation to surface in the 21st century.
It’s been tabled, resurrected, had it’s death-penalty clause removed and put back in, made a Christmas present by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, and even, apparently, topped the parliamentary agenda yesterday.
So what’s the real deal?
On Tuesday, the State Department confirmed the bill “is currently in committee and has not yet reached the full parliament for consideration.” If Kadaga’s stocking-stuffer promise is to come true, it’ll have to be before December 14, when the legislative session ends.
But a source at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala is telling the Washington Blade that the capital-punishment provision is still intact.
Additionally, the embassy source, who asked not to be named, said that the committee can only compile a report on the bill for recommendations to the bill, and can’t make changes to it—such as removing the death penalty provision for “aggravated homosexuality,” which media sources reported has been removed. An earlier version of the bill defined “aggravated homosexuality” as someone with HIV engaging in homosexual acts, having homosexual sex with a minor or the repeated offense of homosexuality.
Even if it’s gone, the law would still mandate life imprisonment and vastly broaden what’s considered criminal activity. Even organizing an LGBT rights group, as is touching someone with the intent to engage in gay sexual contact (whatever that is) could land you in jail.
It’s like Uganda is the Teen Mom of the world: It keeps digging itself deeper and deeper into fuckery to get attention. But unlike Jenelle, we can’t just ignore this to make it go away.