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Yesterday, the Ugandan legislature announced it had given final approval to a measure that, if signed into law, will one of the most odious anti-gay laws in the world. It's so odious that I'm doing a repost from yesterday. While it doesn't make homosexual acts punishable by death--as was the case in the original draft--it's still horribly draconian.
In addition to prohibiting “any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex,” the law seemed to echo Russia’s so-called gay propaganda law, criminalizing “the promotion or recognition” of homosexual relations “through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any other nongovernmental organization inside or outside the country.”
Specifically, the law — officially titled the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 — provides for a 14-year jail term for a first conviction and “imprisonment for life for the offense of aggravated homosexuality,” a Parliament announcement said.
The official announcement sounds like it could have been written in Moscow. It cites the need to deal with " internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family" posed by "cultural changes, uncensored information technologies, parentless child development settings and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption and foster care."
The BBC reports that there's a provision in the bill that is, to my mind, as outrageous as the original version that provided for the death penalty if the "victim" of an "offence of homosexuality" was a minor or the "perpetrator" was HIV-positive. Those who know someone is gay and don't report them can face jail time themselves. If that isn't Big Brotherish, nothing is.
This isn't the last word on this bill yet. Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi says that the legislature may have lacked a quorum when the final vote was taken. According to Amnesty International, the bill was introduced without prior notice, and the vote took place despite objections from the floor. It's still up in the air whether President Yoweri Museveni will sign it. So now's the time to put the pressure on him to veto it. CREDO Action has started a petition calling for Museveni to do the right thing and stop this monstrosity from becoming law. Sign here.