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|Death penalty portion of Uganda's 'Kill the Gays Bill' dropped?|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|November 26, 2012 17:52|
Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, called the "Kill the Gays Bill" by many because of a clause that includes executing gay people, is still on track to be passed in parliament by the end of the year. However, news reports state the death penalty portion of the bill has been dropped.
The UK's Guardian newspaper reported Monday, Nov. 26, that the bill is on track to be passed by the end of the year and has strong support from parliament. Violence against LGBT people already exists, including the murder of Uganda gay activist David Kato in January 2011.
The BBC reported Nov. 23 that the death penalty portion of the bill was dropped. The bill includes a clause to execute gay people for "aggravated homosexuality" — this includes for those who are HIV positive, pedophiles or "serial offenders."
From the BBC story:
Mr. Segona, a member of the Legal and Parliamentary committee of Uganda's parliament, told the BBC: "I can confirm it has been dropped. Some of us who are human rights activists would discourage the death penalty."
But Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin notes that since the bill was first introduced in 2009, the death penalty clause has been said to have dropped numerous times. Read his entire post here to see the various reporting about the death penalty clause of the bill.
Erik Friedly, an American citizen living and working in Uganda, said in an email interview with the GA Voice that there is a thriving gay community in Uganda despite the potential threats faced. He also said he believes in supporting the fledgling Uganda gay rights groups (such as www.sexualminoritiesuganda.net) to fight for their cause rather than condemning all of Uganda.
"I think that if there is too much external pressure on this, we risk pushing the Ugandans (who are very proud) to pass this legislation just to spite the West, and the US in particular. It is a delicate balance, honestly. I think LGBT groups in the US need to know whats going on here, but I think that perhaps instead of agitating for the US to withdraw its considerable foreign aid to Uganda, they should find ways to support the fledgling human rights groups here in Uganda, as they know best how to navigate this dangerous time better than we do," Friedly said.
Read his entire interview here.
Atlanta activists held a small protest against the Uganda bill on Nov. 14.
Photo: Atlanta activists protested Uganda's 'Kill the Gays Bill' at the Georgia State Capitol earlier this month. (by Dyana Bagby)
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