Uganda Parliamentary Committee Chair: Anti-Homosexuality Bill May Not Come Up For A Vote

Jim Burroway

March 3rd, 2011

That’s the word Warren Throckmorton received from the Chair of the Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Committee, Stephen Tashobya. His committee was assigned the Anti-Homosexuality Bill for consideration and possible revision before reporting the bill back out to Parliament for a vote. Tashobya now says “I am not sure if we will get to that one now” before the current Parliament ends in May, citing a backlog of other bills that require consideration. Warren notes that this contradicts Tashobya’s prediction in January that the bill would be brought to a vote during Parliament’s lame duck session following February’s elections.

Uganda held Presidential and Parliamentary elections on February 18, which returned 25-year ruling President Youweri Museveni to another five year term and assured his ruling party a veto-proof majority in Parliament. His ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) also holds the required majority in Parliament to change the constitution at will. On the bright side, Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, one of the bill’s most ardent supporters, lost his re-election bid. It’s not clear though that this guarantees the end of his tenure in Museveni’s cabinet since the constitution allows the President to appoint ministers who are not members of Parliament. David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor, easily won re-election to represent his Ndorwa West constituency after his opponent withdrew from the race over concerns for his safety and that of his family.

The next Parliament will be seated in June. If the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is not reported out of committee and onto the floor of Parliament for a vote before the current Parliament ends, it will die at the close of Parliament.

Priya Lynn

March 3rd, 2011

So, if the kill the gays bill dies in this parlimentary session can’t they just bring it up again in the next?

Richard Willmer

March 3rd, 2011

My understanding is that a new bill could be introduced in the new Parliament. However, it may be that there really isn’t the appetite for further outrages of this kind, at least for now – the next set of elections are far in the future, and the Ugandan authorities have much more pressing concerns, such as the large budget deficit (which could be reduced if donor countries are ‘kept sweet’) and the turmoil in N. Africa (again, keeping ‘the west’ on side may help M7 weather any potential storms in UG).
HOWEVER the still-secret Anti-Pornography and Public Order bills could contain specifically (and discriminatory) anti-gay aspects. This is an area that may need to be watched carefully.

Stephen

March 3rd, 2011

I suppose it served its purpose and can now be retired.

leonardo ricardo

March 3rd, 2011

Amazing ¨real lifelike¨ thought. A gang of goons, if not the head goon, while enthusiastically endorsing David Bahati´s reelection campaign threatened the opposition candidate and his family–my imagination goes directly to: with freshly opened crates filled with bludgeoning hammers, slashing machetes and rat poison paid for by Christian Evangelicas in the U.S.A. The ¨missionary¨ work of some is never done.

mike

March 4th, 2011

oh im sure that the idiot that came up with it in the first place will have a backup bill just to keep it alive in people’s heads and probably say that the gov is being taken over if they don’t listen to him.

MJC

March 7th, 2011

A Ugandan acquaintance tells me conditions on the ground for gay people are still very bad and will continue to be in the near future, the cynicism over introducing the bill to keep the populace in fear of an enemy for the purposes of the election notwithstanding.

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