Uganda Drops Death Penalty From Anti-Gay Bill, Changes Punishment To Life Imprisionment
Ugandan MP Medard Segona has told the BBC that “substantial amendments” had been made to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill and it will no longer include the death penalty after scrutiny by a parliamentary committee but will still presents an array of draconian punishments including life imprisonment and has been approved by Uganda’s Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Earlier this month, Rebecca Kadaga, speaker of the Ugandan parliament, promised to bring a vote on the proposed law before Christmas.
In its original form, those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV positive, disabled or a “serial offender” – could have been sentenced to death.
The “Kill The Gays Bill” was first introduced in 2009 by MP David Bahati shortly after a workshop took place in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, that featured three American radical evangelical Christian extremist: Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge, and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, an organisation devoted to promoting “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ”. The theme of the conference, according to The New York Times, was the “gay agenda”: “how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how ‘the gay movement is an evil institution’ whose goal is ‘to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity’ ”
An Anglican priest from Zambia named Kapya Kaoma was in attendance, and reported on the conference. Ugandan Stephen Langa organised it, and was supported by Lively, who asserted in his workshops that homosexuality was akin to child molestation and bestiality, and causes higher rates of divorce and HIV transmission. Lively’s emphasis was on the cohesion of the African family, that he said was being threatened by “homosexuals looking to recruit youth into their ranks”. According to Kaoma, during the conference, one of the thousands of Ugandans in attendance announced, “[The parliament] feels it is necessary to draft a new law that deals comprehensively with the issue of homosexuality and…takes into account the international gay agenda…”
This is how Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” bill came into being.