Uganda’s anti gay bill spreads fear

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KAMPALA - Revival of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, also known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, has re-ignited fear among Uganda’s homosexual community, with Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, vowing to push the bill into law as a “Christmas gift”.
According to gay activist Gerald Ssentongo, many people think the bill is already law. “We have already been made criminals in the eyes of the public,” he said.

First introduced in 2009, the bill proposed the death sentence for people who engaged in intercourse with the same sex, under-aged or disabled persons.

Government was forced to shelve the bill under threat of withdrawal of aid from Western nations and as a result of lobbying by international human rights groups.

In its present form, the death sentence has been removed from the bill but a person can be imprisoned for three years for failing to report a homosexual offence.

Homophobia heightened in early 2011 when leading Ugandan gay activist, David Kato, was murdered after local tabloid, Rolling Stone, published his name and those of 99 other alleged gays under the headline “Kill the Gays”. /IPS (END//2012)

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