The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill (often called the “Kill the Gays bill” in the media due to the originally proposed death penalty clauses) was passed by the Parliament of Uganda on 20 December 2013 with the death penalty proposal dropped in favour of life in prison. The bill must be signed by the President of Uganda before becoming law.
The legislative proposal would broaden the criminalisation of same-sex relations in Uganda domestically, and further includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations that know of gay people or support LGBT rights.
The private member’s bill was submitted by Member of Parliament David Bahati on 14 October 2009. Same-sex relationships are currently illegal in Uganda—as they are in many sub-Saharan African countries—punishable by incarceration in prison for up to 14 years. A special motion to introduce the legislation was passed a month after a two-day conference was held in which three American Christians asserted that homosexuality is a direct threat to the cohesion of African families. Several sources have noted endemic homophobia in Uganda has been exacerbated by the bill and the associated discussions about it.
The bill, the government of Uganda, and the evangelicals involved have received significant international media attention as well as criticism and condemnation from many Western governments and those of other countries, some of whom have threatened to cut off financial aid to Uganda. The bill has also received protests from international LGBT, human rights, civil rights, and scientific organisations. In response to the attention, a revision was introduced to reduce the strongest penalties for the greatest offences to life imprisonment. Intense international reaction to the bill, with many media outlets characterising it as barbaric and abhorrent, caused President Yoweri Museveni to form a commission to investigate the implications of passing it. The bill was held for further discussion for most of 2010. In May 2011, parliament adjourned without voting on the bill; in October 2011 debate was re-opened. Bahati re-introduced the bill in February 2012.
In November 2012, Uganda agreed to pass a new law against homosexuality by the end of 2012 as a “Christmas gift” to its advocates, according to the speaker of parliament. Although the death penalty was originally planned to be included in the bill, the Legal Affairs Committee has reported verbally that there is the recommendation to drop the death penalty. The final version did not include the death penalty.
- BREAKING: Uganda Passes Barbaric Anti-Homosexuality Bill (bilerico.com)
- Uganda Parliament Passes Anti-Homosexuality Bill (voanews.com)
- Uganda Parliament Passes Anti-Homosexuality Bill – – – and Anti Pornography Bill (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Richard Branson Calls for Boycotts to Uganda if Anti-Homosexuality Bill is Law (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Uganda passes anti-homosexuality bill (wyff4.com)
- Uganda Parliament Passes Anti-Homosexuality Bill (newsy.com)
- Uganda passes anti-homosexuality bill (thehindu.com)