Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati, who has
earned fame around the world as the author of a controversial
anti-gay bill, says he's just protecting children.
Bahati's bill includes a death penalty
provision for people who repeatedly engage in gay sex and those who
are HIV-positive. The bill also bans the “promotion of
homosexuality,” which would effectively outlaw political
organizations, broadcasters and publishers who advocate on behalf of
The bill's tangled language could send
straight folks to death row, as well. The death penalty provision
applies to anyone who is found guilty of “aggravated
homosexuality,” a term used to describe a repeat offender. Those
offenses include failing to report to officials knowledge of a person
who is gay. The bill, therefore, sanctions – even mandates –
In an interview on MSNBC's Rachel
Maddow Show, the lawmaker insisted his bill was not about hate.
“We have a huge problem in our
country,” Bahati said. “People who are coming from abroad,
investing in Uganda to recruit children into a behavior that we
believe is a learned behavior and can be unlearned.”
“We believe that our children should
not be recruited in something they don't believe in,” he added.
“I am not in a hate campaign, I do
not hate gays, I love them, but at the same time I must protect our
children who are being recruited into this practice.”
Bahati went on to assert that more than
$15 million has poured into the country over the past 7 months to
defeat the bill and to recruit children into being gay.
“They go to a school, teach them,
entice them with money, to lure them into this practice,” he said.
When Maddow asked, “How do gay people
hurt your family?” Bahati answered that it hurts the Ugandan family
when the “purpose of procreation is undermined.” (The video is
embedded in the right panel of this page.)