Uganda 'kill the Gays' bill loses momentum
 

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posted Friday, April 16, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 16

Uganda 'kill the Gays' bill loses momentum
by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill - which would impose the death penalty on 'serial offender' Gays and people with HIV who have sex, Gay or straight - is being held up in a parliamentary committee, and is not likely to be brought out for a vote.

The bill was introduced with fanfare last fall, and sent to two legislative committees for review: the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee and the Presidential Affairs Committee.

Late last year, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni urged parliament to "go slow" on the bill, citing the international outrage it had stirred up.

President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Archbishop of Canterbury, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the European Union, and the Commonwealth all condemned the measure.

Brown reportedly told Museveni he risked losing international aid to his country if he went ahead with the legislation.

The U.S. State Department confirmed that Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnny Carson met personally with Museveni and extracted a promise that it would not be enacted.

Even Museveni's American evangelical allies eventually turned against the law.

When Uganda's parliament returned from Easter recess recently, the measure was off the agenda.

"I think it is useless and will not achieve what it intends to achieve," said Alex Ndeezi, a member of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

Committee Chairman Stephen Tashyoba said the draft law was not a priority.

"As far as I am concerned, we really have more urgent matters to discuss like electoral reforms, which are already behind schedule," he said.



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