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Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Postponed Until Friday

Jim Burroway

May 11th, 2011

[Update: 8:00 p.m. EDT: Jacqueline Kasha Facebook status says:

The Bill kept being raised but because of time it wasnt discussed. However after all the reactions that came from MPs it has strong support.On our way out the Government whip together with another MP Odong Otto told security that we shouldnt be allowed back in parliament and that we should all go to the West.

Those statements mean that should the Bill be discussed on Friday which is the next date agreed by the house. Its very possible it will sail through. Today a Bill was discussed for the 2nd and 3rd reading and voting within 20mins, it didnt pass because of lack of quorum so meaning should the AHB reach the floor it will pass because it has a lot of support.

We need a HUGE miracle.

Jacqueline's assessment is considerably more pessimistic than Melanie Nathan's source. It's very difficult to handicap this race.]

[Update: 3:10 p.m. EDT: Melanie Nathan has an update: I have received word from a source in Uganda's Parliament that although the Bill is on the agenda for Friday, tomorrow being a national holiday for the swearing in of President Museveni, they assert that there is a very strong chance the Bill will not make it to the floor and that Parliament will be prorogued before it can be debated and voted upon. The source, stated that Cabinet members and government have been overwhelmed with e-mails, statements and complaints from all around the world.  The source believes this may well factor into preference given to other Bills in the last moments of this Parliamentary Session.  The source went further to state that it was made as a commitment to him from the Speaker that "there would not be time" to hear it.  He did not necessarily trust the commitment."  I think it is wise not to trust that commitment.]

[Update: 1:50 p.m. EDT: Frank Mugisha told the Associated Press that today's Parliament proceedings were interrupted by a walkout among women MP's who were upset over an unrelated bill (Both the Marriage and Divorce Bill and the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Bill have drawn fire from women's groups. It's unclear which bill triggered the walkout.) Parliament was then unable to continue due to a lack of quorum.]

Uganda’s Parliament has suspended business for the day without having taken up debate and a vote on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Sexual Minorities Uganda’s Frank Mugisha, who has been on hand at Parliament (and enduring insults from Parliament members as a result) just posted on Facebook that Parliament will reconvene on Friday with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill back on the agenda.

Daily Monitor, Uganda’s largest independent newspaper, has been focusing its resources on the larger ongoing turmoil over nationwide month-long riots, demonstrations, and today’s return of opposition leader Kizza Besigye from Nairobi, Kenya. He was expected to return to Entebbe today after having been treated in a Nairobi hospitals for injuries sustained at the hands of Uganda’s security forces. Ugandan security forces reportedly tried to block his return, and as of this writing it is still unclear whether he will be allowed to do so. Debate over Besigye’s return has overtaken events in Uganda’s Parliament, which may account for its sudden recess until Friday.

Warren Throckmorton also confirms that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will be scheduled for Friday. While the 8th Parliament remains constitutionally in effect until May 18, a Parliament spokesperson told Throckmorton that Friday is the last day the current Parliament can act because swearing-in ceremonies for the 9th Parliament will begin on Monday.

Contrary to widespread mainstream media reports, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is neither dead nor dropped. This isn’t the first time mainstream media has gotten this wrong.

ADDENDUM, 5/14: It turns out that the walkout by women delegates was over the Marriage and Divorce Bill. The bill would have “it would abolish forced marriage and allow women to divorce their husbands on the basis of cruelty, among others,” according to Daily Monitor. The walkout occurred when the Attorney General said that he was not ready for the bill to be voted on.

Comments

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paul canning
May 11th, 2011 | LINK

I am pleased to say that the UK’s pinknews is now taking its lead from you Jim, rather than the BBC. Why that might be I couldn’t possibly say …

Meighan
May 11th, 2011 | LINK

Hate is hate and it should never be made legal no matter what the circumstances, the nature of the victim or the nature of the person who is doing the hating. Murder should never be legal or allowed.

Jerry
May 11th, 2011 | LINK

This attempt at hate will continue until the Ugandans are finally convinced that if they pass it, they will become outcasts and all foreign aid from democratic nations will cease. The line in the sand won’t bear immediate results anymore than the international boycott of South Africa did. Many Ugandans will suffer as a result, but ultimately they will prosper as South Africans are now prospering again.

TomTallis
May 11th, 2011 | LINK

This appeared late in the LA Times. I don’t believe it, but for the record:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-uganda-gays-20110512,0,6668656.story

Jim Burroway
May 11th, 2011 | LINK

It is exasperating to see the mainstream media get this wrong time, and time, and time again. No, the death penalty has not been dropped.

There are those who say it will be dropped when the measure is brought to the floor for a vote, there are those who say that a recommendation to drop the death penalty is part of the report from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee. But the death penalty has not been dropped at this time.

Mainstream media have been wrongly reporting this for more than a year now. Every time they’ve reported it, they have been wrong.

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