Uganda Plans to Pass Law Punishing Homosexuality With Death or Life in Prison
Officials say citizens in the African nation are "demanding" the draconian law
Officials in the East African nation of Uganda say they are moving forward to pass a law that will more harshly punish homosexuality in the country.
The bill, known as the "kill the gays" law, was thought to be dead, but looks to have gained new life. Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of Uganda's parliament, told The Associated Press that the bill will become law this year. Ugandans "are demanding it," she said.
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In October 2009, Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati proposed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would administer the death penalty or life in prison for gay people. It was not passed and in 2009 failed to come up for debate parliament after an international outcry.
"I think we expected that this would happen," a lawmaker who did not want to be named told Reuters last May. "The pressure had been too much over the last two years. It had to disappear."
The act of homosexuality is already illegal in the country. The law proposed in 2009 added the life in prison or death components as punishments. There was no confirmation that those stipulations were part of the bill officials said will be passed this year.
President Barack Obama has described the bill as “odious,” and some European countries have threatened to cut aid to Uganda if it becomes law.