Uganda’s NTV television channel has reported that debate on Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill could begin in parliament this week with the aim of passing the legislation before May.

“I’ll be working with my colleagues to talk to other members of Parliament to ensure that this bill is debated and concluded before we close the Eighth Parliament,” said the bill’s author, MP David Bahati

“We are working with religious leaders, we are working with people in the legal fraternity, we are working with parents and schools.”

The former Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, also expressed his support for the bill: “I ask you to put pressure on Parliament to debate to amend the Anti-Homosexuality Bill where necessary and to pass a law,” he said.

Public hearings, during which stakeholders will make their feelings about the bill known to a Ugandan Parliamentary Committee, are expected to be held this week. This will be followed by a debate and vote on the legislation.

“The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has generated a lot of debate and interest in our population, both for and against. And we are sensitive about that interest. So we shall put out public notices for all types of people, all Ugandans – even foreigners… to come before the committee and have this matter resolved once and for all,” said Stephen Tashobya, Chairman of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

Originally tabled in parliament in 2009, The Anti-Homosexuality bill proposes the death penalty in cases of “aggravated homosexuality” and includes various penalties for anyone who does not turn over gay people to the police or “promotes” homosexuality.

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