Speaker Rebecca Kadaga
Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has told The Associated Press that the dreaded Anti-Homosexuality Bill, widely condemned around the world, will be passed by parliament this year.
Kadaga said that there was a demand from the Ugandan people to approve the bill, which has been in legislative limbo since it was introduced by MP David Bahati on 14 October 2009.
She said that she had promised anti-gay activists at a meeting on Friday to see the bill passed as “a Christmas gift” to them in order to protect Uganda’s children from “the serious threat” posed by homosexuals.
The anti-gay activists gave the speaker a petition calling on her not to sit back while such a “destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation…”
“Who are we not to do what they have told us?” Kadaga asked the news agency on Monday, adding, ”These people should not be begging us.”
Speaking at the 127th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Quebec last month, Kadaga lashed out at international critics of the law.
“If homosexuality is a value for the people of Canada they should not seek to force Uganda to embrace it. We are not a colony or a protectorate of Canada.”
It is unclear if the version of the bill that is expected to be put up for vote will include the death penalty clause as originally proposed. Even without this clause, the bill will further criminalise homosexuality which is already illegal in Uganda.
In addition, anyone who “aids, abets [or] counsels” any gay person and anyone who rents a home or a room to a gay person could also be sentenced to seven years in jail under the proposed law.