What has been a threat for several years has finally come to pass. Though the bill does not seem to be the exact same “Kill The Gays” legislation that was earlier proposed, gays can now face life in prison in Uganda, and others can face prison time for failing to report homosexuality:
Uganda’s parliament has passed a bill to toughen the punishment for homosexual acts to include life imprisonment in some cases.
The anti-homosexuality bill also makes it a crime punishable by a prison sentence not to report gay people.
The prime minister opposed the vote, saying not enough MPs were present.
The bill has been condemned by world leaders since it was mooted in 2009 – US President Barack Obama called it “odious”.
The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga in Kampala says the government knows there will be an international outcry, which could see some countries suspend aid to the country.
She says that Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi might follow up on his complaints about a lack of quorum, while it remains to be seen whether President Yoweri Museveni will sign the bill into law.
While those who pushed this bill riled people up, in part, with colonialist threats of Western gays invading their country, the truth is that this happened with the assist of anti-gay white American activists like Scott Lively, who is currently on trial for crimes against humanity for his activities in Uganda.
Gay activists in Uganda were apparently shocked by the bill’s sudden passage:
Uganda LGBTI activist Frank Mugisha said he was in ‘total shock’, saying the motion had caught every gay rights advocate off guard.
He said Kadaga, who promised last year to make the bill law as a ‘Christmas present’ to the nation, had been ‘cleaning up’ any shelved legislation.
Similarly delayed legislation, the Anti-Pornography Bill 2009, had its second reading and passed yesterday.
Speaking to Gay Star News, Mugisha said: ‘I am just shocked. I don’t know what to do.
‘I didn’t expect it to come today. I thought there was still more time. I’m really shocked. All of our allies were caught unaware. All of us were unaware.
‘We are going to oppose the bill because it is very unconstitutional. We will do everything we can to oppose it.
‘We need the international community to draw attention to the bill being passed. We need a lot of attention right now. I am very disappointed. All of my colleagues are panicking. They believe there is going to be a hunt. They think it is already law. And they believe they will die.
‘For me, I am very strong. I am very sure we can find a solution and challenge it in any way possible.’
As Joe points out, there will likely be victory laps from the likes of Bryan Fischer and Porno Pete over this. Things are starting to look a lot better for LGBT people in the west, and they know they’ve lost on their home turf, but as we are witnessing, the American Religious Right is not content to lose gracefully, and is instead doing everything in its power to export hate to the developing world. While things get better for us, it’s getting scarier and scarier for LGBT people around the globe.