As the closing of the 8th Parliament looms, two early supporters of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill continue to promote passage of the bill. Martin Ssempa and Stephen Langa both testified Friday before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee. A website called Weinformers provide more information about their message and also reports that hearings will conclude on Monday.
According to this report, Ssempa advocated the removal of the death penalty because it is not a “behavioral corrective measure.” However, he did not object to life in prison. Despite the fact that Ugandan law already addresses the defilement of both boys and girls, Ssempa continued to allege it does not.
The Weinformers article also reports that the bill is likely to get a vote before the end of the Parliament.
Langa, also testifying on Friday, sounded many of the same themes. Langa was the prime organizer of a conference on homosexuality in March 2009 which featured Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge, and Don Schmierer. The conference whipped up public support for tougher laws against homosexuality. Although in the works prior to the conference, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was first mentioned in Parliament the following month in April, 2009.
On Saturday, I spoke with Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chair Stephen Tashobya who confirmed that hearings would be held on Monday with report writing to come. However, he declined to predict whether the AHB would make it to a vote.