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Ugandan MPs Reject Cabinet’s “Rejection” of Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Jim Burroway

August 24th, 2011

Daily Monitor, Uganda’s largest independent newspaper, today reports on reaction from members of Parliament to the weekend’s announcement that the Cabinet has “rejected” the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Daily Monitor reports:

Members of Parliament yesterday accused Cabinet of bowing to pressure and described the Executive’s decision to block the gays Bill as “moral corruption”.

Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, the architect of the Bill, says Cabinet cannot throw out his Bill because it is now property of Parliament and insists that he is going to push for it.

The lawmakers said it was immoral for government to think that donor funds matter more than traditional values and vowed to push for the Bill and ensure that it is passed even without the support of government. “Whether they want or not, we are going to pass it. For government to come up and throw out such a Bill means we are living in a crazy world,” said Mr Andrew Allen (Bugabula North).

Ugandan lawmakers are particularly sensitive to the perception that they are under the domination of international pressure. Open defiance against foreign (read: rich, white, colonialist, etc.) pressure plays very well politically at home, as does any expression of hatred toward gay people. Adding to that is a third factor, the opportunity for members of Parliament to assert its independence by tweaking a very powerful and entrenched president. With that, support for the bill becomes a three-fer. The first and third elements are illustrated here:

Prior to the move, the international community had put pressure on government by threatening to cut aid if government passes the Bill. Ms Betty Amongi (MP Oyam South) says Cabinet has given Parliament a chance to exercise and prove its independence and not allow donor influence to “also jeopardize its works.”

The Anti-homosexuality Bill is a private members Bill and Shadow Attorney General, Abdu Katuntu (MP Bugweri) said Cabinet cannot throw out a Bill it didn’t bring. “The only option they have is to come and oppose it on the floor of the House,” he said.



August 29th, 2011 | LINK

thanks Jim. i dunno how i missed this.

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