OUT OF AFRICA

Death Penalty Apparently Removed From Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

Uganda’s Parliament has dropped the death penalty from the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The “kill the gays” bill, as it was originally known, included language instituting capital punishment for “aggravated homosexuality.” Reports had that provision removed and added back in at various points in the legislative process.  The version approved this week by Uganda’s Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, does not include the death penatly, MP Medard Segona told the BBC. “I can confirm it has been dropped.,” Segona said. “Some of us who are human rights activists would discourage the death penalty,” he said.

Last week speaker Rebecca Kadaga promised the bill, first introduced in 2009 by MP David Bahati, would come to a vote in time for Christmas:

Ugandans “are demanding it,” she said, reiterating a promise she made before a meeting on Friday of anti-gay activists who spoke of “the serious threat” posed by homosexuals to Uganda’s children. Some Christian clerics at the meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, asked the speaker to pass the law as “a Christmas gift.”

“Speaker, we cannot sit back while such (a) destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation,” the activists said in a petition. “We therefore, as responsible citizens, feel duty-bound to bring this matter to your attention as the leader of Parliament … so that lawmakers can do something to quickly address the deteriorating situation in our nation.”

We guess not being put to death is gay Ugandan’s Christmas present this year.