After international media attention and criticism of the American religious leaders and politicians involved in Uganda’s proposed “kill the gays” bill, lawmakers there are planning on dropping the death penalty and life imprisonment punishments.
That’s according to Uganda’s Ethics Minister James Nsaba Buturo (pictured), who’s backed the persecution of Uganda’s gays. Why the changes? “To attract the support of religious leaders who are opposed to these penalties, Buturo said today in a phone interview from the capital, Kampala.” That’s according to Bloomberg’s Fred Ojambo.
So what type of punishment for being gay will the bill include? Thus far, it’s unclear. But expect some ex-gay-style reparative therapy up in this bitch: “In addition to formulating punishments for the gay people, the bill will also promote counseling to help ‘attract errant people to acceptable sexual orientation,’ said Buturo.”
This is a bizarre twist — and one we’re cautiously optimistic about. That a country is even proposing a bill that actively persecutes queers is, alone, repugnant. But to remove the most immediate and violent threats — execution and life sentences — is a step in the right direction.
David Bahati, the Uganda legislator backing the bill, reportedly first floated the idea of murdering gays during The Family’s Uganda National Prayer Breakfast in 2008 — a similar event, of the same name, The Family sponsors in the United States. And it’s all coming together around Family member Sen. James Inhofe, who’s been involved in Uganda’s power circles for years, reports The Family author Jeff Sharlet.
All of which leads to this: Right now, how does The Family’s members view the proposed legislation in Uganda? As Sharlet tells it, a one Bob Hunter — whose original involvement in Uganda was supposedly tied to orphans — is trying to lobby his C Street peers, including Sen. Inhofe, to oppose the bill. A curious move, given it was Hunter who’s said to have established the connection between the family and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni — who’s tight with Doug Coe, Hunter’s Christian ally. Thus far, it appears Hunter’s effort are falling on deaf ears; The Family members who only recently involved themselves in Ugandan politics are, all of a sudden, claiming to be hands off.