Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill to Pass?

The Ugandan legislature may be on the verge of passing the “kill the gays” bill that has caused so much controversy over the last couple years. It’s appeared to be dead, or at least tabled, a few times but now one of the leaders of the parliament there is predicting it will pass soon:

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told The Associated Press that the bill, which originally mandated death for some gay acts, will become law this year.

Ugandans “are demanding it,” she said, reiterating a promise she made before a meeting on Friday of anti-gay activists who spoke of “the serious threat” posed by homosexuals to Uganda’s children. Some Christian clerics at the meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, asked the speaker to pass the law as “a Christmas gift.”

“Speaker, we cannot sit back while such (a) destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation,” the activists said in a petition. “We therefore, as responsible citizens, feel duty-bound to bring this matter to your attention as the leader of Parliament … so that lawmakers can do something to quickly address the deteriorating situation in our nation.”

The anti-gay activists paraded in front of Kadaga, with parents and schoolchildren holding up signs saying homosexuality is “an abomination.” The speaker then promised to consider the bill within two weeks, declaring that “the power is in our hands.”

The law would extend the country’s already-harsh anti-gay laws, which prescribe prison terms for those found to be homosexual, by adding a crime of “aggravated homosexuality” for repeat offenders that would put them to death.

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