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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 10, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 06
Uganda revives anti-Gay bill, but drops death penalty
Section One
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Uganda revives anti-Gay bill, but drops death penalty

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

David Bahati's notorious anti-Gay bill has been reintroduced into Uganda's parliament, but without the death penalty provisions.

The bill was shelved last year after an international outcry.

According to BBC, members of parliament applauded and chanted 'Our bill! Our bill!' when Bahati reintroduced the measure on February 7.

Bahati confirmed to BBC correspondent Joshua Mmali that the draft legislation has changed in one fundamental way.

People convicted of 'aggravated homosexuality' - when one of the participants in Gay sex is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled, or a 'serial offender' - would no longer face the death penalty.

Because these categories were to be executed in the original version of the bill, it has come to be known as the 'Kill the Gays' bill.

A parliamentary committee recommended the revision, after the original legislation was condemned by Western leaders, who threatened to cut off aid to Uganda.

President Obama labeled the bill 'odious.'

'We may disagree about gay marriage,' Obama told the 2010 National Prayer Breakfast, 'but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target Gays and Lesbians for who they are, whether it is here in the United States or & more extremely, in odious laws that are being proposed more recently in Uganda.'

Bahati introduced the bill in 2009, after an international anti-Gay conference convened by American evangelicals in Kampala, Uganda. It has never been brought to the floor of parliament for debate.

He told Associated Press last year that he would be willing to drop the death penalty provision if that would help pass the bill.

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