The efforts to get this done in Uganda have been going on for years. Some opponents have termed them the “Kill the Gays” bills, and they just keep coming. As I’ve done before, I’ll point to Jim Burroway, at Box Turtle Bulletin , for his long, detailed and persistent work in covering this ongoing story, as one key resource.
Burroway documents the latest attempt in a November 21 post, Anti-Homosexuality Bill Appears On Uganda Parliament’s Agenda:
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has appeared on the Orders Paper for the Ugandan Parliament. Today’s Orders Paper … shows a rather full agenda, with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill appearing under “˜Notice of Business to Follow.’
That same day, questions about the United States cutting aid to Uganda began to be asked, though, apparently, not directly related to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. From The Independent:
Although most funders have cut aid, the United States of America has assured Uganda that it will not cut off the Aid it has been extending to Uganda.
From Burroway, on November 23, Conflicting Reports Emerge About U.S. Sanctions Against Uganda, which cites a WBS Television Uganda YouTube entitled, “USA slaps travel ban on Speaker Kadaga over Anti-Gay Bill.” Several weeks ago, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga “pledged to deliver the bill as a Christmas package to Ugandans.”
“˜Instead of describing specific sanctions, the WBS report merely speaks of unspecified sanctions “˜threatening the country and individuals.’ …
Warren Throckmorton says that the State Department has denied that Obama has threatened sanctions.
LGBT and other organizations have once more spoken out about such efforts, often making the connections between anti-homosexuality in Uganda and the influence of some “American Christian faith leaders,” as the Human Rights Campaign calls them. HRC Reacts to Renewed Efforts to Pass Anti-Gay Bill in Uganda:
American Christian faith leaders have been active in Uganda for decades and have significant ties to Ugandan political leaders and faith leaders. Such influential American faith leaders, including Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and voices from the Trinity Broadcasting Network, have a moral obligation to urge their Ugandan friends and allies to condemn the bill. Many of these American faith leaders have shown a commitment to fighting the HIV/AIDs epidemic in Uganda and know passage of this bill would curtail these efforts. Public statements and private conversations by these American faith leaders, if they are done immediately, could save the lives of thousands of Ugandans.
At America Blog, John Aravosis posted a great round-up, as of November 21, in Uganda on Verge of Giving Gays Death Penalty.
Here’s what the new law is going to do:
Have gay sex once: life in prison (which is already the law).
Have gay sex twice: death.
Have gay sex once with a person with a disability: death. …
Rent an apartment to a gay person, and they have sex with someone in that apartment, ever: life in prison for the landlord.
Rent a second apartment to a gay person, and they have sex with someone in that apartment, ever: death for the landlord.
Have sex, even consensual, and you have HIV, even if you disclose your status to your partner, or even if you didn’t even know you had HIV: death. …
On November 22, WBS Television Uganda posted another YouTube report, with statements by members of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, which, as Burroway writes, is “charged with marking up the Anti-Homosexuality Bill with recommended changes.” In the Box Turtle Bulletin piece, “When a Ugandan Politician Claims The Death Penalty Was Dropped But He Can’t Show You The Draft Recommendations Because They’re Secret, Then The Death Penalty Has Not Been Dropped,” Burroway addresses the claims in the WBS report about the death penalty being removed.
There are a few troubling aspects to the report. First, the reporter claims that the death penalty has been removed for “˜homosexuality acts with minors,’ which sounds very suspiciously like several other previous reports, later proven to be false, that the death penalty had been removed. …
The second troubling aspect is that the reporter described the clause containing the death penalty as prohibiting “˜homosexuality acts with minors’ ““ which it does, but it also imposes the death penalty for much, much more. This, too, is in line with several prior false statement … .
And in case that red flag isn’t big enough, now we’re being told that the draft report from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee is being held secret, and that we won’t know its contents until debate begins and the bill is voted on … .
Burroway has a later post, in which he provides about a dozen examples of earlier reports (ranging from December 9, 2009 to February 24, 2012) similar to the latest claims about dropping the death penalty. Don’t Believe It Until You See It: News Reports Claim Uganda Drops Death Penalty From Anti-Gay Bill:
That’s not an exhaustive list. That’s just what I was able to find quickly this morning….
But despite this track record, the BBC and Pink News are confidently reporting that the death penalty has been dropped. … Nothing gets dropped until that vote takes place, and it hasn’t happened yet.
According to all the reporting I’ve seen, the vote on the bill could come at any time. If Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s earlier “pledge” is fulfilled, though, the bill will at least be delivered in time to be “a Christmas package.” For those who agree with her (and that certainly isn’t all Ugandans or all Christians), there could be an especially pious caroling of Joy to the World.