Uganda Anti-Gay Bill Reportedly Won’t Include Death Penalty, Still Awful

According to Parliament member David Bahati, a new version of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill will no longer stipulate the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”

Citing “all the issues that have been raised” with the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill,  Bahati told The Associated Press on Friday, “There is no death penalty.”

Those issues perhaps include the massive international outcry, condemnation by world leaders (including President Obama) and threats from several nations to cut financial aid to the African nation. Bahati’s statements, however, contradict earlier reports that claimed the death penalty could not been removed as no changes can be made to the bill.

Previous versions of the bill provided for capital punishment in cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” meaning  gays with HIV having sex, gays having sex with minors or the disabled, or gays discovered having sex for the second time. Now, according to Bahati, the bill is intended to protect children from gay pornography, ban gay marriage, counsel gays and punish anyone who promotes gay culture.

The bill has been under review by a committee, though it was allegedly the number one order of business for Parliament on Tuesday.

“There was a dissenting voice in the committee,” said Krispus Ayena, a member of said committee. “They argued very forcefully that we should not do a thing like that: to regulate what goes on in bedrooms. First of all, is it practicable to regulate that? And there are those who say this is very oppressive.”

Like, everyone? Over 500,00 have signed a petition on Change.org calling for Citibank and Barclays – both heavily invested in Uganda – to condemn the bill. Meanwhile, passage of the anti-homosexuality bill, with or without the death penalty provision, is expected by Christmas, so if Citibank and Barclays want to make a statement, they’d best do so quick.