January 14, 2010
Uganda to Amend Proposed Antigay Bill Following Global Outcry
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said that a proposed bill that would further criminalize homosexual activity in the country will be softened in response to international pressure, The Guardian reports.
The draft of the bill says anyone convicted of a homosexual act—which includes physical contact with someone of the same sex with the intention of committing a homosexual act—could be sentenced to life in prison. HIV-positive LGBT people would face the death penalty.
According the article, Museveni considers the bill “foreign policy issue” that will be further discussed before being voted on by parliament.
Leaders from around the globe—including Uganda’s western donors—have spoken out against the bill, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“When I was at the Commonwealth conference, what was [the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper] talking about? The gays. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown ... what was he talking about? The gays,” said Museveni.
Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati said on January 8 that he proposed the bill to protect children in schools from “being recruited into [homosexuality].”
Museveni said the bill does not necessarily reflect party or government policy.
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