Uganda Throws Out Anti-Gay Law

Decision made after ruling party lawyer said the bill was unnecessary since the country already has other laws in place criminalizing homosexual activity.

Posted: 08/23/2011 03:02 PM EDT
Filed Under Uganda

The Ugandan cabinet has decided to throw out the controversial anti-homosexuality bill it has been considering since 2009 after encountering pressure from donor nations.

 

However, the decision is somewhat of a bittersweet victory for the gay community in Uganda as the decision to throw out the bill was made after the ruling party lawyer reasoned with cabinet ministers that the bill was unnecessary since the country already has other laws in place criminalizing homosexual activity.

 

The rejected anti-homosexuality law, known as the “Kill the Gays Bill,” would have made homosexual sex a crime punishable by death. The bill was proposed shortly after a conference was held in the capital, Kampala, featuring American evangelical Christians who gave a series of talks on “curing” homosexuality. The Americans have since claimed that they had no part in the drafting of the bill but others felt that the conference and the legislation had a direct connection.

 

Although many countries in Africa have laws criminalizing homosexual behavior and activity, Uganda has come under increased scrutiny over its heightened intolerance. Earlier this year, outspoken Ugandan gay activist David Kato was murdered when a newspaper printed his picture, announcing his sexuality and calling for his capture and death. Since then, Uganda’s gay community has mobilized and reached out to international rights groups to further their cause.

(Photo: EPA/DAI KUROKAWA/Landov)

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