Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has pledged to move forward with a notorious “Kill the Gays” Bill, though the death penalty has been removed from the new draft, Reuters reported.
The speaker has been trying to get the Anti-Homosexuality bill passed since 2009, when it was introduced by David Bahati, a backbench lawmaker in President Yoweri Museveni's ruling National Resistance Movement party.
The measure was called “odious” by U.S. President Barack Obama, and criticized by most of Europe. European countries threatened to withhold foreign aid from Uganda if the bill that at first called for the death sentence for “aggravated homosexuality” was passed.
The first draft never made it to the debating floor, but now Kadaga has revived an amended bill.
“They said I should stop the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but I assured them there is no way I can block a private member's bill,” The Daily Monitor quoted Kadaga saying when spoke to religious leaders and journalists at Entebbe International Airport at the end of October.
“I will not accept to be intimidated or directed by any government in the world on matters of homosexuality,” she said.
“I was surprised when colleagues came and thanked me, saying that’s what they have always wanted to say but they had never gotten the courage to. That when it came to me that I had spoken for the whole of Africa, for the Arab world and Asians,” Kadaga said.
The death sentence clause has been taken out, along one with forcing Ugandans to report homosexuals to authorities in the “watered-own” second draft, Bahati told Reuters.
When asked about pro-gay-rights countries denying Ugandans entry visas and aid, Kadaga responded they could keep their money and visas.
The new bill prohibits the "promotion" of gay rights and punish anyone who "funds or sponsors homosexuality" or "abets homosexuality.”
The rise of the evangelical church in Uganda, with American church funding, is partly responsibile for the anti-gay movement in the country.
"Would you accept that a thief should be licensed, that a prostitute should be licensed? There is no difference between a thief, a robber, a prostitute and a homosexual," said Pastor Joseph Serwadda, a supporter of the “Kill the Gays” Bill.
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