Homosexuals in Uganda will face the death penalty if a new law proposed by Parliament member David Bahait is adopted.
Aggravated homosexuality will be punished by death, according to a new bill tabled in Parliament yesterday. The private member’s bill was tabled by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati (NRM). A person commits aggravated homosexuality when the victim is a person with disability or below the age of 18, or when the offender is HIV-positive. The bill thus equates aggravated homosexuality to aggravated defilement among people of different sexes, which also carries the death sentence.
The Bill, entitled the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, also states that anyone who commits the offence of homosexuality will be liable to life imprisonment. This was already the case under the current Penal Code Act. However, it gives a broader definition of the offence of homosexuality. A person charged with the offence will have to undergo a mandatory medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status. The bill further states that anybody who “attempts to commit the offence” is liable to imprisonment for seven years. “The same applies to anybody who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality” or anybody who keeps a house or room for the purpose of homosexuality. The bill also proposes stiff sentences for people promoting homosexuality. They risk a fine of sh100m or prison sentences of five to seven years. This applies to people who produce, publish or distribute pornographic material for purposes of promoting homosexuality, fund or sponsor homosexuality.
Representatives of non-governmental organizations such a workers for international health relief groups would also be subject to the new law.