This week will see the outcome of proposals calling for the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ in Uganda. But campaigners are hopeful that an international outcry and last minute doubts from some the bill’s backers may see the threat of execution reversed…
The bill first appeared in 2009 and originally stated that in cases of same-sex rape, ‘serial offenders’ and HIV-positive homosexuals the death penalty should apply.
One of the bill’s supporters, Pastor Martin Ssempa, this week reneged on the original bill and suggested that gays should face imprisonment instead of death penalty.
And David Bahati, the Ugandan MP who first proposed the private members bill told AP last month the death penalty was “something we have moved away from”.
The proposed legislation has sparked international uproar. An online petition decrying the bill has drawn over 500,000 signatures. Several western nations have threatened to withdraw their aid to Uganda if the bill is successful in parliament.
On Friday the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commision released a statement which read:
“We are shocked that after more than two years of engagement with the government of Uganda about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, this heinous piece of legislation may still become law,”
Unfortunately the bill is likely to gain huge public support in the deeply conservative and religious country.