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‘Kill the Gays’ bill looms anew in Uganda

Uganda parliament building
Uganda parliament building

The “Kill the Gays” bill  popped back up to No. 2 on the list of Business to Follow after action on the parliamentary agenda of Feb. 26  is completed.

[The next day, Feb. 27, the bill appeared at No. 3 in Business to Follow, and moved to No. 5 on Feb. 28.]

For weeks, ever since Uganda’s parliament convened for its 2013 session, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been bouncing up and down near the top of “Business to Follow.”

LGBT rights activists in Uganda are braced for action, but unsure what to expect.

Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), predicted that the bill would again drop to a lower-priority position.

Frank Kamya, secretary/administrator of the Youth for Rock Foundation, said that “parliament is fast moving through its ‘government’ or priority business and this seems to indicate that the AHB will be bumped onto the order paper officially soon.”

Here is the bill’s upward progress in the Notice of Business to Follow so far this year:

  • No. 8 on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
  • No. 8 on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
  • No. 6 on Thursday, Feb. 7.
  • No. 7 on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
  • No. 4 on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
  • No. 3 on Thursday, Feb. 14.
  • No. 1 on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
  • No. 5 on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
  • No. 4 on Thursday, Feb. 21.
  • No. 2 on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
  • No. 3 on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
  • No. 5 on Thursday, Feb. 28.

The bill in its original form called for execution of repeat offenders. It would also require people to report suspected homosexuals to police. Parents would be required to report potentially gay children to police; doctors would be required to report potentially gay patients; priests would be required to report potentially gay parishioners.

Organizations serving LGBT people, including groups fighting AIDS among sexual minorities, would be outlawed.

Among those is the Youth on Rock Foundation, which is already under investigation by police in Kampala. A fund drive to support the foundation and help it reopen an office for its anti-AIDS work is under way through a Fundrazr site organized by supporter Suzanne Zelei of Sweden.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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