Well isn’t this a bit of good news: David Bahati, the minister of parliament behind Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, has suffered a huge defeat. After reviewing the so-called Kill The Gays bill, which sought to imprison for life practicing homosexuals (and execute repeat offenders), on the order of President Yoweri Museveni, the the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee has opted not to put the bill up for debate by lawmakers, ending a two-year ordeal that attempted to further criminalize “aggravated homosexuality.” It was Museveni, supposedly, who terminated the politically toxic project. Might it have something to do with fears of losing aid after Rep. Barney Frank began pushing through a bill that would have the Treasury Department coming down hard on nations that oppress LGBTs?
This does not, of course, mean gays in Uganda are safe: sodomy remains illegal there, and it’s possible Bahati or a sympathizer could take up a similar bill in the future. And don’t think for a second that just because some 85 countries signed the United Nations resolution promising to support efforts to keeps LGBTs safe that Uganda’s queers will find themselves in the safety net of the international community. After all, it was through international efforts by America’s religious zealots, immune to state pressure, that helped bring about the Kill The Gays bill in the first place. But for now, so much for Bahati’s October promise that his bill would become law “soon.” Let’s see how Rolling Stone spins this one.