A parliamentary spokeswoman on Thursday
confirmed that Ugandan lawmakers will debate a controversial anti-gay
“After parliament has disposed of all
the business ahead of it on the order paper it will then move on to
discussing that bill,” Helen Kawesa is quoted as saying by the AFP.
The proposed measure would increase the
penalties for being gay in a nation where it is already punishable by
up to life in prison. The controversial bill proposes introducing
the death sentence for people repeatedly convicted of engaging in gay
sex, as well as for any gay person who has sex with a minor or
exposes another person to HIV through sexual contact. The bill would
criminalize discussions of homosexuality and penalize a person who
knowingly rents to a gay or lesbian person.
The bill's text states it is protecting
“the cherished culture of the people of Uganda … against the
attempts of sexual rights activists to impose their values of sexual
Rebecca Kadag, speaker of the Ugandan
Parliament, earlier told the AP that the measure will be passed
before the end of this year, insisting it is what most Ugandans want.
President Barack Obama is among the
world leaders who have condemned the bill, describing it as “odious.”
Britain has threatened to cut aid to Uganda over the controversial
MP David Bahati first introduced the
proposed legislation in 2009.