David Bahati, author of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

There are reports that hearings on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill began on Friday, apparently in an effort to have it passed as early as this week.

According to activist Melanie Nathan, who spoke to the bill’s creator David Bahati, the committee hearings are expected to continue on Monday with the intention to have it voted on before the current parliament comes to an end later this week.

In an interview with US blogger Warren Throckmorton, Bahati said that the Uganda Law Reform Commission and several religious leaders were on the list of those slated to provide testimony and that “…the process of legislation is moving forward”.

There are also reports that the version of the bill under discussion continues to include the death penalty, despite earlier claims that it had been removed.

Originally introduced in October 2009, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill allows for the death penalty in cases of “aggravated homosexuality” and includes various criminal penalties for anyone who fails to turn over gay people to the police or who “promotes” homosexuality.

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