“I am sure the bill will take a different form when it is tabled on the floor in parliament,” says Uganda’s Deputy Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem, in comments that arrive just days after President Obama denounced the bill. Which is great news! Not so great news: Zero details on how it’ll change.
“Homosexuality is not a top priority for the people of Uganda,” Oryem continues. “Our priority is to make sure there is food on the table of our people – that we deal with the issue of disease.” Fine. But it must be enough of a priority that some lawmakers want to execute some gay citizens. And even though Oryem indicates the bill will change by the time it’s voted on — following the bill’s author, David Bahati, saying he’s willing to “amend some clauses” — it’s still unclear whether state-sponsored execution of gays will be the only piece removed.
Meanwhile, not everyone is as willing to admit international pressure is affecting Uganda’s legislative process. “Somebody should tell President Obama that the parliament is doing its legislative duty in the interest of the people of Uganda,” says ethics minister and terrible person James Nsaba Buturo.