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Uganda lawmakers to vote on reinstating anti-gay law after legal defeat

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Ugandan lawmakers will vote on reinstating a severe anti-gay law just weeks after it was scrapped by the country’s constitutional court, the parliamentary speaker said on Tuesday.

The six-month-old law had meant that homosexuals could be jailed for life. It was popular domestically, but was branded draconian and “abominable” by rights groups and was overturned on a technicality by the constitutional court on August 1.

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Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga said she expected the bill would be re-introduced when it returns from its summer break, probably later this month.

“There is enthusiasm among the members of parliament. Over 200 members have signed the petition to re-table it,” Kadaga told AFP on Tuesday.

“By these numbers it is a sign it will be passed overwhelmingly,” she added.

The new petition also calls for the process to be sped up, bypassing normal parliamentary rules that require the law to be reintroduced from scratch — a potentially lengthy process.

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The legislation, signed by President Yoweri Museveni in February, also outlawed the promotion of homosexuality and obliged Ugandans to denounce gays to the authorities.

Judges ruled it had been passed in December without the necessary quorum of lawmakers in parliament.

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Homosexuality remains illegal in Uganda and punishable by a jail sentence, even without the tough new law.

Uganda’s attorney general said last week that an appeal against the constitutional court ruling had also been lodged at the Supreme Court.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has likened the law to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany, and Western nations have frozen or redirected millions of dollars of government aid in response.

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Critics have accused Museveni of drumming up homophobia to boost his support ahead of a presidential election scheduled for 2016, which will be his 30th year in power.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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John Oliver cites Donald Trump’s final offer for Greenland: ‘$200 and I’ll throw in Don Jr.’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's favorite highlight of the week was, of course, President Donald Trump's decision that he wanted to buy Greenland.

In his opener Sunday, the HBO host said that he wasn't all that surprised given Trump's track record.

"Of course, he f*cking did. Of course, he did. Greenland is icy, distant and autonomous is exactly Trump's type," Oliver said, showing a photo of Trump with the first lady.

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Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge

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Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.

“THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored,’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960?s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man. Mr. Simmons, who now is a DC PS admninistrator.”

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Angry Minnesota farmer bashes ‘insulting’ Trump comments that ‘we’re great patriots’ during his trade war

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President Donald Trump has insulted at least one Minnesota farmer by his claim that farmers are "great patriots" who want him to continue his trade fight against China.

"This wound is self-inflicted, by our president," said Gary Wertish, who is the Minnesota Farm Bureau president. "We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are 'winning,' we’re 'great patriots,' that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot."

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