David Bahati

Activists have called on Hillary Clinton to bar the architect of Uganda’s anti-gay death penalty bill from entering the US for a conference.

There have been reports that MP David Bahati is set to visit the US this week to attend the International Consortium of Governmental Financial Management conference.

Activists, including the website Lez Get Real, have urged US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to rescind Bahati’s visa.

“…As it is within the Secretary of State’s lawful discretion to deny entry to the United States to any person who represents a threat to internal security and orderly administration, it is our respectful request that Mr Bahati be denied permission to enter the United States, and that a visa for that purpose, if already issued, be withdrawn,” a statement from Lez Get Real said.

Uganda’s Daily Mirror claims that while other MPS attending the event were granted extended visas by the American Mission in Kampala, Bahati was the only one given a restricted single-entry visa specifically for the conference.

According to Lez Get Real, the organisers of the conference have also said that they will refuse to allow Bahati to take part, even if he does come into the country.

“I know [the] US as a defender of democracy in the world and can differentiate between the efforts of a legislator in a democratic parliament from acts of dictatorship,” Bahati told the Daily Mirror in response to the furore.

In April, the British government said that it would consider banning Bahati should he apply to visit the country.

Bahati, a born again Christian, is the MP for the constituency of Ndorwa West and is a member of Uganda’s ruling party. His Anti-Homosexuality Bill would impose the death penalty on anyone who has consensual and safe sex with an HIV positive person or if found repeatedly guilty of “homosexual acts”.

The bill, which has been slammed by governments and human rights organisations around the world, appears to have stalled in the legislature and it is unclear when it will be up for vote.

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