Is it because he really wants to enjoy the bagel spread at the National Prayer Breakfast that Uganda lawmaker David Bahati — lead sponsor of the Kill The Gays bill — now says he’s willing to “amend some clauses”?
In the most visible sign yet that international pressure and criticism from President Museveni has actually influenced Bahati, who is a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement, appears willing to cave … a little bit. You know, insomuch as any changes to the bill — which seem doable after a meeting between Bahati and the cabinet — do not “[put] the values of the country at risk.”
Just don’t expect Bahati, whose career appears to be riding on this bill, to yank the thing altogether. “The possibility of withdrawing it,” he says, “is very minimal.”
It’s unclear yet which parts of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill he’d be willing to change, but the most obvious is the death penalty for “gross” offenders of homosexuality. And, of course, the second harshest punishment: life in prison. Take those two horrors off the table, however, and Uganda still faces a new law that would still leave things like a seven-year prison sentence for anyone who “attempts to commit homosexuality.” Which still isn’t good enough.