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Ugandan Cabinet Committee Recommends Passing Anti-Gay Bill On the Down Low

Jim Burroway

April 24th, 2010

The Sunday Monitor, Uganda’s largest independent newspaper, has apparently gotten a copy of the report by the Ugandan Cabinet committee tasked with reviewing the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill. According to the Monitor, the committee recommends deflecting attention to the bill by changing its title and/or combining it with the Sexual Offences Act. According to the Monitor:

In their recommendations, the committee argued that the title of the Bill; Anti-Homosexuality, is stigmatising and appears to be targeting a particular group of people. They therefore want the “useful provisions of the proposed law” incorporated into the Sexual Offences Act.

The Committee, however, agreed that promotion of homosexuality should be criminalised. “The law should provide that all the parties: publishers, printers, distributors of any materials that promote homosexuality should all be liable to have committed an offence,” the minutes read in part.

The existence of the committee’s report was first disclosed last Wednesday but details were not available at that time. That report made it appear that the bill might be headed toward a rather quiet end. The latest details appear to led support to the suspicion that Uganda’s leadership may instead try to quietly pass the bill through the kind of stealth and misdirection commonly used by circus magicians.

But it appears that there is considerable disagreement over the committee’s recommendations. The committee report appears to be the work of just three cabinet members out of seven members overall who were tasked by President Yoweri Museveni to review the bill and come up with recommendations. Among those who failed to attend the review meeting in February was Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, who has been a consistent and ardent supporter of the bill as written. The Monitor reports that Buturo vigorously opposes the committee’s recommendations and insists that the bill should be passed in its current form. He also criticizes the committee for not meeting with MP David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor. Buturo is calling for another meeting of the committee before the report is released to the full Cabinet.

The committee’s observation that the bills title is “stigmatizing and appears to be targeting a particular group of people” is perplexing. The reason the bill appears to be targeting a particular group of people is precisely because it is targeting a particular group of people — as you can see when you read the text of the bill yourself (PDF: 847KB/16 pages). Changing the title and moving its provisions into another bill without the word “homosexuality” will look for all the world like a shell game by carnival con men.

Comments

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Leonardo Ricardo
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Really? It´s amazing, it´s far past insane that David Bahati and the heavily stupid James Nsaba Buturo want to keep beating this dead, now Trojan, horse (which turns out to be stuffed with Tens of Thousands of Ugandas LGBTI people, our brothers our sisters in spirit, our families, our friends, our coworkers)…we know the election is coming and President Museveni loves a good wave of terror to muster votes– but please, LEAVE GAY PEOPLE ALONE and concentrate on UGANDAS corrupt society, resettlement camps (where nobody ever leaves/resettles), UGANDAS CIVIL WAR, your child WITCHBURNINGS, your SEXUAL SLAVERY–now that Uganda has OIL it seems someone prefers to distract the humble voter from what politicians DON´T DO!

Lynn David
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

What kind of hypocrite got the feeling that the title is stigmatizing to a group of people and yet wants to criminalize them.

John
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Even if they change the name and try to hide it in another bill, the US and EU will be hard pressed to continue aide to this murderous regime. Without US and EU aide, there won’t be anywhere near as much money to steal.

customartist
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

When American Evangelists keep stoking the fires what would you expect?

This will be on their heads.

The Nazis Didn’t Even Dare This, But Mainstream And Even Progressive Media Voices Are Silent « SpeakEasy
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

[…] been most extensively covered by the gay rights news service Box Turtle Bulletin, which on April 24 noted an apparent “stealth” attempt, by Ugandan legislators, to pack provisions of the Uganda […]

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