Speaker [of the Ugandan parliament] Rebecca Kadaga told The Associated Press that the bill, which originally mandated death for some gay acts, will become law this year.Now, All Out, an international LGBT rights organization, is reporting the bill was officially added to the parliament’s schedule today and could be voted on as soon as Thursday. James Burroway at the Box Turtle Bulletin confirms this.
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 bill has been scheduled for an “order of business to follow” and could be voted on on Thursday, or any time thereafter. It is expected to easily pass, and then it will be up to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to veto the bill. If vetoed, the veto could be overturned by the assembly.Proponents have denied the death penalty is attached, but All Out and other outlets report the final bill has not been made publicly available. It is believed the death penalty is still attached to the loosely defined charge of "aggravated homosexuality."
Under existing law, homosexual acts are already considered a crime in Uganda, and can lead up to 14 years in prison.
All Out has sponsored a petition asking President Museveni to veto the bill, a promise he has said to made in the past. It will likely take the pressure of international coalition to stop this. Activists in the country have called upon the global community to help.
"This bill won’t stop us," said Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). "We will continue to fight until we are free of this legislation. We cannot have oppression forever.”This spring, SMUG, in conjunction with the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing American Christian evangelical leader Scott Lively of violating international law. The suit contends his activities in Uganda in 2009 led directly to inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda, including the introduction of this law.
The Center for Constitutional Rights previously argued successfully against Bush administration detention policies in Guantánamo Bay, winning vindication for their clients at the Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States.
As one of the largest banks in the world, I know you have major operations and many employees in Uganda.
You're also well known for supporting your LGBT employees and protecting employees and customers from anti-gay discrimination.
With the “Kill the Gays” bill looming in Uganda’s parliament, you have unique and necessary voice that could help stop this bill in its tracks. Your presence in Uganda is significant, and your voice in opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill could have a profound impact in keeping LGBT people safe in Uganda.
I ask you to publicly condemn Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill, and send a loud message to Ugandan legislators that criminalizing homosexuality with lifetime prison sentences and the death penalty won’t be supported by major international businesses.