There are renewed efforts to have Uganda’s dreaded Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed by that country’s parliament.
On Monday, former ethics and integrity minister James Nsaba Buturo called on MPs to bring the legislation to the floor and finally vote on it, reported The Observer.
“Homosexuality supporters are on a propaganda spree. They are using every known international institution to threaten their opponents to normalise the act,” Buturo told journalists at the National Theatre in Kampala.
He also claimed that MP David Bahati, who drafted the bill, has been pressured to keep quiet about it.
“A test of MPs’ true commitment to protecting the people’s interests will be assessed in their readiness to pass the bill without any further delay,” Buturo said.
Buturo now heads up an organisation called the Coalition for Advancement of Moral Values in East Africa.
LGBT Ugandans have had to endure years of ongoing uncertainty over the bill, which was first introduced in 2009, but has never been put up for a vote in parliament due to delays and political manoeuvring.
The original proposed law allowed for the death penalty in cases of “aggravated homosexuality” and included criminal penalties for anyone who fails to turn over gay people to the police or who “promotes” homosexuality.
Late last year, Parliamentary Speaker Rebecca Kadaga promised to have the legislation passed before Christmas but parliament closed for the end of year recess before this could happen.
It is unclear if the most recent version of the bill includes the death penalty clause for repeated ‘offences’ as originally proposed.
Even without this clause, the bill will dramatically further criminalise homosexuality, which is already illegal in Uganda; with penalties including life imprisonment. It will also penalise those who support LGBT people or rights.