Uganda updates: Hearings continue on Anti-Homosexuality Bill

UPDATE 5 (Tuesday, May 10) – I started another post for the developments today. Go to that post for the latest…

UPDATE 4: This petition against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) has 100,000 200,000 signatures; check it out and sign on. Also, tweet this post with the designation #Uganda.

All eyes will be on Stephen Tashobya’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee tomorrow. If the committee’s report on the AHB is completed and presented to the Speaker of the House Edward Ssekandi, then the ball will be in Ssekandi’s court. He could then call the bill to the floor on Wednesday for a second and third reading. If the report is not presented tomorrow then there will not be time to bring the bill forward within the time allotted by Ssekandi for Parliament’s business (Wednesday, May 11). In order for the AHB to be considered, Ssekandi would need to call the Parliament together on Friday, the 13th or next week when the new Parliament is being sword in. Technically, the 8th Parliament is in session until the 18th.

As it stands, opponents of the AHB could have a constitutional basis for challenging the bill if it indeed becomes law. The Ugandan legislative procedures require bills to be reported out of committee within 45 days, unless extra time was sought from Parliament. Although such time may have been requested, I can find no record of it on any of the order papers. The bill has been in committee since October 14, 2009.

Via BoxTurtleBulletin, the Ugandan Human Rights Coalition just released a statement about the bill and their testimony today.

UPDATE 3: Here is a report from a San Diego paper which quotes Bishop Senyonjo speaking about his experienced in today’s hearings.

UPDATE 2: The AP just released a story which summarizes the situation after the end of hearings today. The next step is for the committee chair Stephen Tashobya to write a report from the hearings. Tashobya is quoted as saying he would have the report completed by tomorrow. However, he just told me a few minutes ago that he cannot promise to complete the report by tomorrow. He did say that he would complete the report before the end of Parliament which is the 18th of May. When I asked him how the Parliament could vote on a bill in this manner, he said that the Speaker (Edward Ssekandi) makes those decisions. Theoretically, the Speaker could call Parliament into session anytime before May 18 for a vote on any left over bills.

According to Tashobya, the Company bill did not pass today, and the Procurement bill was pushed to tomorrow, thus making it even more difficult for any new bills to come to the floor before Speaker Ssekandi’s end of official business date of May 11. The AHB coming to the floor appears to hinge on the completion of the committee report by Mr. Tashobya  sometime tomorrow and the Speaker’s willingness to bring it to the floor on Wednesday. If this does not happen, the Speaker would have to call the MPs together sometime during the festivities of the Presidential inauguration and the swearing in of the new Parliament on the 18th.

UPDATE: I just spoke with LGBT advocate Brian Nkoyooyo (about 5pm there) who was in the hearings today. He said that the Human Rights Commission, Sexual Minorities Uganda and the Coalition on Human Rights presented testimony in opposition to the bill. The hearings are still being held, although he did not know who else intended to testify. He was not sure if hearings would take place tomorrow but believed that the bill could come to the Parliament for discussion by Wednesday.

….

Throughout the day, I will post information as I get it regarding the status of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.  Today, opponents of the bill were supposed to testify.

Saturday, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, Edward Ssekandi said that business would wrap up on Wednesday. He sounded unsure about the fate of the AHB, and would not guarantee that it would get a vote.

The Parliament winds up with debate on several bills, some of them controversial, pending.

These include the Domestic Relations Bill, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the HIV Bill, Procurement Amendment Bill and the Company Act.

We want to ensure that at least two, especially the procurement and the company bills, are passed before we wind up,” Ssekandi said.

//

“Many MPs also want the Domestic Relations Bill to be passed because it has delayed for over 40 years. I don’t know whether we shall be able to pass it because the committee has not yet given me its report,” he said.

For the AHB to get a vote, the hearings would need to end today, a report be submitted to the Speaker by tomorrow leading to action on Wednesday. The two bills Ssekandi said had priority, the procurement and company bills. were slated for third readings and a vote today, according to the Parliament’s agenda. If those are out of the way, then there could be time for the remaining bills. According to the agenda, the HIV Control bill is to be read a second time tomorrow. The Domestic bill and the AHB could be read on Wednesday.

I add updates as I get them.

For two years of coverage on the AHB, click this link.

  • Maazi NCO

    Oh yeah, I am enjoying this game of musical chairs. Anyways, we are looking forward to the rest of week. Thanks. In the unlikely event that one prominent chair breaks before the music ends, there is always the space of a few months to get another chair ready for the game to continue !

  • Maazi NCO

    I have to say that the foreign-controlled gay advocates put on their “best show”. One must give credit to where it is due. However this game is set to continue at a fast pace. Provided we do not hit a ditch, we can wrap up this event quickly. If not, then we will have to dig in for longer period to wrap it up

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  • http://www.lezgetreal.com Melanie Nathan

    Thanks Warren for your endless and amazing reporting n this topic – here is one I just put up re Barclays Bank – which has a huge presence in Uganda

    http://lezgetreal.com/2011/05/barclays-bank-what-will-you-do-about-the-kill-the-gays-bill-in-uganda/ Mel Nathan

  • Richard Willmer

    Strangely enough, ‘Maazi’ doesn’t actually support the Bahati Bill! After all, he said this back December 2009:

    “Contrary to Western media propaganda, Gays who keep their heads down and do their stuff privately will be left alone …”

    whereas Bahati wants to ‘sniff out and slaughter’ gays: http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2010/08/10728/

    Back in November 2009, it looked as if Bahati would get his way. But much has been achieved since then. Moreover, countries like Germany have made clear that any further discriminatory laws being enacted will lead to ‘consequences’, so I think that ‘Maazi’s’ glee (which is a bit odd, seeing as his views are so different from Bahati’s) is perhaps a little premature …

  • Maazi NCO

    Moreover, countries like Germany have made clear that any further discriminatory laws being enacted will lead to ‘consequences’,

    Oh yes, the German State has spoken and Ugandans are shitting their pants fearing the consequences of Die Panzerkampfwagen—backed forces landing in Kampala to save the pro-gay advocates and decimate our parliament. BTW, are these German threat not the same one that failed to prevent Malawi from expanding its sodomy laws? No?

    ….is perhaps a little premature …

    Well, well, well. This is the only sensible string of words I have heard from you. However, we are HOPEFUL that everything will work according to our best case scenario. If it doesn’t work out then we have the alternative scenario in the new parliament….

  • Richard Willmer

    We’ll see. As for ‘worries’ among UG politicians about things that might impact on the UG budget: well, I suspect it rather depends on to whom one speaks.

    What many if us find hard to understand is your apparent delight at the prospect of increased repression in your own country. Is this ‘Africa values’ at work? If so, it does rather explain why so many African countries are in such a parlous condition.

    As for the statement “Contrary to Western media propaganda, Gays who keep their heads down and do their stuff privately will be left alone …”: I assume you are now following Raila Odinga’s example and now retracting it – which begs the question “Whose ‘lick-spittle’ are you?”

  • Maazi NCO

    What many if us find hard to understand is your apparent delight at the prospect of increased repression in your own country.

    I do not regard a law combating gayism as repressive any more than I regard a law that punishes drug trafficking, rape, fraud and murder as a tool of oppression

    Is this ‘Africa values’ at work? If so, it does rather explain why so many African countries are in such a parlous condition.

    Africa is not the only part of the world were gayism is criminalized. We have Singapore, United Arab Emirates, parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and several pro-Western Gulf Arab Sheikdoms. Even in some EU nations—Lithuania, Bulgaria, Poland, Cyprus, etc— where gayism is not criminalized, we see legal restrictions on such behaviour in constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, gay adoption, gay military service, gay blood donation, etc, etc. In the USA, many states prohibit same-sex marriage and the US federal government has its Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA).

    As for the statement “Contrary to Western media propaganda, Gays who keep their heads down and do their stuff privately will be left alone …”: I assume you are now following Raila Odinga’s example and now retracting it – which begs the question “Whose ‘lick-spittle’ are you?”

    I am no Odinga. I have been consistent and never changed my views. I can see that you deliberately clipped the length of my commentary in the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) and quoted them out of context to suit your agenda. Why not reproduce my entire statement in the NCR rather than releasing a few lines from it?

  • Richard Willmer

    Just teasing you, ‘Maazi’! You always react so well!

  • Richard Willmer

    But, seriously, just because places like Iran have barbaric anti-gay laws doesn’t mean that Uganda should do the same, even if those laws will be very difficult to implement in practice (does it really make sense to send people to prison just because they rent accommodation to someone who is gay? will that actually happen, or will your little project just ‘make an ass’ of the law, as well as causing a series of other problems?).

  • Richard Willmer

    Let’s now get back to the question which you seem so reluctant to answer clearly and directly: do you, or do you not, think that ‘consenting adults in private’ should be sent to prison?’ Yes or No?

    (No need to be frightened of giving a direct answer; you still hide behind that silly pseudonym.)

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    There is a special kind of evil that knows that a bill will result in harm to people, that knows people who will be harmed, and gloats. I’m glad that it is not often that I encounter that kind of evil.

  • Richard Willmer

    Sorry, I didn;t phrase that question well. I’ll ask it again: do you think that ‘consenting adults in private’ should be sent to prison?’ Yes or No?

  • Richard Willmer

    The question was to ‘Maazi’, of course!

    ‘Maazi’? Yes or No?

  • Wendy Leigh

    Being gay is NOTHING even close to drug trafficking, rape, fraud and murder. Fascism that this bill promotes is though.

  • Richard Willmer

    ‘Maazi’? Yes or No? (I want to see if you are capable of answering a simple question in a direct manner?)

  • Maazi NCO

    There is a special kind of evil that knows that a bill will result in harm to people, that knows people who will be harmed, and gloats. I’m glad that it is not often that I encounter that kind of evil.

    Timothy,

    I lived and worked Stateside. I know people like you very well. I see that typical american arrogance—the sheer arrogant ignorance of the rest of the world beyond the borders of the United States. You think that the world can be remade in your liberal and carefree American image? You think that whatever you Americans decree to be “evil” shall be accepted as “evil” by the rest of the world? Let me tell you something—as far as the vast majority of Africans in all 53 nations are concerned, gayism is evil, deviant, unAfrican, cruel and inhuman. You can rave and rant all you want, but we will not back down on our right to protect our traditions and culture from the rapacious hedonistic depravity of your part of the world.

  • Richard Willmer

    You’re back, ‘Maazi’! How lovely for all of us!

    Now, do you think that ‘consenting adults in private’ should be sent to prison? Yes or No?

  • Maazi NCO

    You’re back, ‘Maazi’! How lovely for all of us!

    Ah, a very British response ! Can’t stand Americans when they talk nonsense !

    Now, do you think that ‘consenting adults in private’ should be sent to prison? Yes or No?

    I believe that anyone who publicly advocates for the subversion of our sex crime laws should be prosecuted. This is what we are working for in the parliament. As for your question, I believe that the our laws should state for the record that gayism is illegal regardless of the venue where it is taking place.

  • Richard Willmer

    Yes or No, ‘Maazi’? (Forget the ‘advocating’ bit; I’m talking about adults having sexual relations, pursuant to informed consent, in private. As for Timothy’s comment: I have considerable sympathy for it: it is.)

    So – Yes or No? Come on, stop all the verbiage and just answer the question!

  • Richard Willmer

    I’ll see if I can get a ‘straight’ (pun entirely intended!) answer from ‘Maazi’ tomorrow!

  • http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/ paul canning

    Maazi – on the ‘all africa is against it’ point I direct you to the comments of the Rwandan UN delegate when they supported the UN resolution on extra-judicial killings of gays in december.

    They know a thing or two about what genocide is and that man spoke the truth from his own experience.

    No, all Africa does not agree with you.

  • Richard Willmer

    I sometimes wonder if ‘Maazi’ agrees with himself. After all, he did say “Contrary to Western media propaganda, Gays who keep their heads down and do their stuff privately will be left alone …”

  • Maazi NCO

    Maazi – on the ‘all africa is against it’ point I direct you to the comments of the Rwandan UN delegate when they supported the UN resolution on extra-judicial killings of gays in december.

    Paul,

    Don’t be naive . If you really want to test whether the Rwandans support gayism then take your gay partner to Kigali and kiss openly on the streets. If the Rwandan police don’t promptly arrest you for “public order offence”, then I will issue you a special apology. The Rwandans are only saying such pro-gay nonsense to keep the donor funds rolling in !!

  • Maazi NCO

    No, all Africa does not agree with you.

    Paul,

    And one more thing….. Statistics released by Pew Research Associates indicate that the vast majority of Africans in all 53 countries (including those that have no sodomy laws) are staunchly against gayism. That is a fact you will have to learn to live with !!

  • Richard Willmer

    Yes or No, ‘Maazi’?

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  • http://valkalende@blogspot.com Val Kalende

    Richard, don’t argue with the good pastor. He clearly understands that criminalizing homosexuality will not stop consenting adults from having private sexual relations. Then i wonder what the objective of his campaign is. Because honestly he is the one burying his head in the sand. Please Mr. a.k.a Maazi NCO, can we for once start dealing with reality? Surely gays are not about to become extinct. I want you to do a census of how many gay Ugandans have come out since you launched your anti-human campaign against them. How many? This is also why i don’t agree with the pro-gay advocates who argue that if the kill the gays bill becomes law, LGBT Ugandans will go further underground.

  • Maazi NCO

    Richard, don’t argue with the good pastor

    Miss Kalende,

    I am not a pastor. Neither am I religious. There are Ugandans who reject gayism for cultural reasons as well. Pro-gay advocacy is something that I would like to see go away from Uganda. I do not want to hear foreign NGO-manipulated persons promoting gayism (a.k.a “gay rights”) on radio, press conferences or hand-distriubuted flyers.This is my main interest in asking for a heavily watered down version of the Bahati Bill.

  • Maazi NCO

    Surely gays are not about to become extinct.

    Gay sex practitioners will continue to exist just like robbers, rapists, fraudsters and drug traffickers. Laws are not promulgated to extinguish crime, but to suppress it, contain it, limit it and make clear the stand of the nation-state on it.

  • Maazi NCO

    I want you to do a census of how many gay Ugandans have come out since you launched your anti-human campaign against them.

    When did you conduct a census? Or am I supposed to believe that crap from the pro-gay doctor at the Committe Hearings who claimed that 3% of boda-boda riders in Kampala engage in deviant behaviour? Or the western gay propaganda line that over 500, 000 Ugandans are gagging to engage in sexual deviance.

    BTW, I did not launch any campaign against you lot. You guys started it when you started holding press conferences to demand right to violate the laws, culture and traditions of the Ugandan people. What you chaps are getting is the backlash. With the benefit of foresight, I am fully aware that gay advocacy—if not nipped in the bud—will eventually evolve into a full-scale public order issue. It is in the interest of the Ugandan State to remove from existence all domestic NGOs promoting gayism

  • Richard Willmer

    Yes or No, ‘Maazi’? You’ve said contradictory things in the past; now it’s time to ‘commit’!

  • Maazi NCO

    Yes or No, ‘Maazi’? You’ve said contradictory things in the past; now it’s time to ‘commit’!

    I mean what I say and never waver from it. I cannot give “Yes” or “No” reply to your question because my views on how gayism should be tackled is quite nuanced. If you want an answer to your question, please go back and re-read the previous comments I have made on this thread.

  • Richard Willmer

    My question was very simple. I cannot see how you are not able to answer it clearly.

    Here it is again: Do you think that people should be imprisoned for private sexual acts pursuant to informed consent? (Bahati thinks they should be. Do you agree with him? Very simple.)

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