Uganda will permit a new law against homosexuality by the end of 2012 as a “Christmas gift” to its advocates, the speaker of parliament has said.
Rebecca Kadaga, AP news agency, was quoted as saying that Ugandans were “demanding” the law to be passed. Homosexual acts are currently illegal in Uganda, but the bill which is before parliament, proposes even tougher sentences for people convicted for homosexual offenses.
Foreign donors have threatened to cut aid if gay rights are not respected.
MP David Bahati tabled the new bill, which proposes jail terms for homosexual acts, including a life sentence in certain circumstances. It prohibits the “promotion” of gay rights and calls for the punishment of anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality”.
The bill includes a clause which calls for the death penalty against people found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender” – is to be dropped, Mr Bahati has said.