Uganda bill punishes homosexuality with life in prison

By David Edwards
Tuesday, February 7, 2012 18:49 EDT
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Uganda Parliamentarian David Bahati
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A Ugandan member of parliament has reintroduced a bill that increases criminal penalties for some homosexual acts, but dropped a provision that allows homosexuals to be executed by the state.

Parliamentarian David Bahati on Tuesday reintroduced the so-called “kill the gays” bill that he had first introduced in 2009. It was later shelved in 2011 after an international outcry.

Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but under the original bill, some homosexual acts would have been punishable by death. The latest iteration of the bill increases current punishments for certain acts to life in prison.

Ugandans would also face criminal prosecution if they failed to report homosexuals to authorities.

In 2010, President Barack Obama called the first version of the bill “odious.”

It is “unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are,” the president said at an annual prayer breakfast in Washington D.C.

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday told Metro Weekly that it continues to oppose the bill because it is “manifestly inconsistent with Uganda’s international human rights obligations.”

Watch this video from NTV Uganda, broadcast Feb. 6, 2012.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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