David Bahati, author of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill
David Bahati, the man behind Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, will consider dropping its death penalty clause to make sure that it is passed.
“The death penalty is something we have moved away from,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. In recent weeks there have been conflicting reports about the fate of the notorious bill.
It is believed that Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni would prefer to have the bill shelved in order to avoid an international outcry, but Bahati confirmed that he was still working to ensure that hearings on the bill take place.
“We shall try and see how far we can go with the bill. It may be possible. We are doing all we can. We have limited time…”
Bahati, who has been blamed for fostering a virulently anti-gay environment in Uganda, extended his condolences toward the family of slain LGBT activist David Kato.
“My reaction is that I extend condolences to the family, parents of Kato. It’s regrettable that they could find themselves in this situation, and also regrettable that he could be allowed to be used to recruit our children. But the death of Kato had nothing to do with the bill in parliament,” he insisted.
Bahati also refuted claims that the legislation had been inspired by American evangelists who have close ties to the country’s conservative elite. “This actually has been an insult to suggest that Ugandans cannot think for themselves, that we have to wait for America to think for us,” he said.
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.
Bahati (36), a born again Christian, is the MP for the constituency of Ndorwa West and is a member of Uganda’s ruling party.