The Associated Press reports that according to Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda’s long-pending “Kill The Gays” bill will be passed by the end of the year. Local clergy have petitioned the government, demanding the bill’s passage as a “Christmas gift to Christians.”
Ugandans “are demanding it,” she said, reiterating a promise she made before a meeting on Friday of anti-gay activists who spoke of “the serious threat” posed by homosexuals to Uganda’s children. Some Christian clerics at the meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, asked the speaker to pass the law as “a Christmas gift.”
“Speaker, we cannot sit back while such (a) destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation,” the activists said in a petition. “We therefore, as responsible citizens, feel duty-bound to bring this matter to your attention as the leader of Parliament … so that lawmakers can do something to quickly address the deteriorating situation in our nation.”
The anti-gay activists paraded in front of Kadaga, with parents and schoolchildren holding up signs saying homosexuality is “an abomination.” The speaker then promised to consider the bill within two weeks, declaring that “the power is in our hands. Who are we not to do what they have told us? These people should not be begging us,” Kadaga said of activists who want the bill to become law.
While the above-linked AP report claims that the bill “originally mandated death for some gay acts,” in fact the bill does continue to call for the death penalty for “serial offenders.” Box Turtle Bulletin notes that according to Clause One of the act, a “serial offender” is defined as a someone who has “previous convictions of the offence of homosexuality or related offences.” In other words, a second conviction brings the death penalty. And those “related offenses” include renting a room to a gay person or failing to inform the government that someone they know is gay, meaning that a straight person could also suffer the “gay death penalty.”
In 2009 the European Parliament threatened to end aid to Uganda should the bill pass. Last year (soon to be former) Rep. Barney Frank said that the United States should do the same: “If the bill before the Ugandan parliament becomes law, it must be the policy of the United States government to oppose any aid to Uganda from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, or any other international financial institution of which we are a member.”
Merry Christmas from God’s Gentle People.
RELATED: Although the Family Research Council continues to deny it, the Wayback Machine proves that in 2009 Tony Perkins issued a radio address in which he denounced President Obama for opposing Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” bill. In his message, Perkins characterized the bill as one that “upholds moral conduct.”
UPDATE: Towleroad tips us to this clip in which Speaker Kadaga was given a “hero’s welcome” by Ugandans upon returning this week from a conference in Canada where she vowed to pass the bill. Kadaga says that “Uganda can survive” without international aid after the bill passes.