Uganda MP David Bahati remains defiant
in his opposition to homosexuality even as lawmakers move to table
his anti-gay bill, the AFP reported.
Bahati is the author and primary
sponsor of a controversial bill that would increase the penalties for
being gay in a nation where it is already a crime. Bahati's bill,
first introduced in 2009, proposed putting repeat offenders to death
under certain circumstances. It also would have criminalized
discussion of homosexuality and penalize a person who knowingly rents
to a gay or lesbian person.
But the measure might have proved too
controversial even for a country where anti-gay sentiment remains
Uganda's parliament closed its
legislative session on Friday without voting on the measure.
On Thursday, the United States, a major
aid donor to Uganda, slammed the proposed legislation as “odious.”
“No amendments, no changes would
justify the passage of this odious bill,” State Department
spokesman Mark Toner said.
Bahati told the news agency that he
would re-introduce his bill in February.
“We have made important steps in
raising the issue and that will continue,” he said.
Bahati has previously said the proposed
measures were necessary to protect Uganda's children from being
recruited by gay people. He told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that more
than $15 million had poured into the country in less than a year to
defeat the bill and recruit children into being gay.
And in an interview on NTV, he repeated
his claim that children are being recruited into being gay and that
being gay is a choice.
“We don't have any provision on
promotion of homosexuality anywhere. We don't have any provision on
same-sex marriage. We don't have any provision in our rules on
recruitment of our children. We don't have any provision on
counseling and caring. We want to make it very clear. We want
Parliament to come up with a rule that is specific and clear to
address the imagined problem of homosexuality.” (The video is
embedded in the right panel of this page.)