In a punitive measure to curb the incursion of homosexuality in the country, Ugandan government is set to reintroduce a bill which would bring in the death penalty for homosexuals in the East African nation.
The legislation – known as the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill – was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government now has plans to resurrect it within weeks.
Speaking, Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said, “Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that.”
“Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalises the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalised. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence.”
African countries like Uganda have some of the world’s most prohibitive laws governing homosexuality. Same-sex relationships are considered taboo and gay sex is a crime across most of the continent, with punishments ranging from imprisonment to death.
Earlier this year, Brunei sparked an international outcry over plans to impose the death penalty for gay sex, backtracking only after intense criticism.
Lokodo said Uganda’s bill, which is supported by President Yoweri Museveni, will be reintroduced in parliament in the coming weeks, and it is expected to be voted on before the end of the year.
He was optimistic it would pass with the necessary two-thirds of members present – a shortfall in numbers killed a similar bill in 2014 – as the government had lobbied legislators ahead of its re-introduction.
‘We have been talking to the MPs and we have mobilised them in big numbers,’ said Lokodo. ‘Many are supportive.’
Uganda’s constitutional court overturned the law – formerly known as the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill because it includes the death penalty – on a technicality in 2014.
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