Uganda Watch: David Bahati Vows to Press Ahead with His Anti-Gay Bill

Recently, a delegation from the Kennedy Center visited Uganda and spoke with various politicians, including mover of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, David Bahati. In this NTV clip, Bahati sounds resolved to continue with his crusade.

Parliament is currently on recess, subject to the Speaker’s recall.

Bahati continues to frame his bill as a child protection measure despite the fact that existing laws already cover offenses against minors. Moreover, every gay organization in Uganda supports penalties for child molestation.

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  • William Birch

    Interesting: anti-homosexuality laws will actually protect children from sexual offenders. I suppose that right now, children are not protected whatsoever from such offenders. What if a child is molested by a heterosexual? Are there any anti-heterosexuality laws intact that will protect children from sexual offenders? Ugh. This is ridiculous.

  • Richard Willmer

    Which version of the Bill, I wonder (there’s a new draft doing the rounds, one hears, though officially the Bill is still as per the original October 2009 draft – complete with hanging, compulsory snooping and bans on freedom of speech)?

  • stephen

    Bahati continues to frame his bill as a child protection measure just as the anti-gay industry in the States frames the marriage ‘debate’.

  • Richard Willmer

    That ‘minority’ report from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of the UG Parliament essentially said that, as far as ‘protecting children’ is concerned, the Bill is irrelevant and useless. (The ‘majority’ report is still ‘under wraps’, it would appear.)

    Nice that at least some Ugandan MPs have joined the real world. I’m sure there are others, not involved in the production of that report, who quietly take a similar view.

  • Richard Willmer

    Apparently one idea being floated among parts of the anti-gay brigade is that the Bahati Bill was actually brought by PRO-gay people in order to discredit the anti-gay lobby! (“What utter humbug!” I hear you cry.) The UG Government is also being criticized by anti-gay elements, one hears. Such commentary is consistent with the long-stated view of Solomon Mmale that the Bahati Bill is a huge ‘own goal’ for the anti-gay lobby – and I think he may well have a point there, actually …

  • Richard Willmer

    More strident (and IMO somewhat disingenuous) utterances from pro-Bill MPs, it would seem:

  • Richard Willmer

    BTW, the MPs are due to come back from their recess tomorrow.

  • Richard Willmer

    Interest article:

    It could well be true. I gather that there are plans afoot in some countries to place visa bans on MPs who vote for the Bill (and some of those MPs rather enjoy their little foreign junkets in the ‘wicked West’!), and maybe their ‘close associates’ as well. (Not sure how this would help pro-Bill MPs escape sanctions against them; the like of the CIA or MI6 are hardly going to be fooled by a ‘secret session’, and, in the event of the voting not being properly recorded, the UG Constitution Court would surely have before it an ‘open-and-shut case’ for junking the Bill.)

    But a ‘secret session’ might also ‘cut the other way’, as it might help anti-Bill MPs to put their case without worrying so much about misguided elements of public opinion outside parliament.

  • Richard Willmer

    Of course, one’s heart bleeds for poor little Dave Bahati. How monstrously unfair that he is ‘ostracized’/criticized by awful people like me for his proposing genocide back in October 2009. There’s just no justice in the world, is there?

  • Lynn David
  • suzdle

    Is there an anti-heterosexual child molester bill….or are sexual offences against children by heterosexuals ok? Why is a child protection bill geared specifically at the LGBT community?

    Homosexuality does not equal pedophilia. How ignorant can one person be?

  • Richard Willmer

    Well, I’d say that much of the Nigerian bill is just ‘huffing and puffing’ (and perhaps very much in that crass, loud-mouthed ‘all-talk-and-no-action’ mode); a notion that there currently vast numbers of gay weddings going on that must be outlawed is fanciful nonsense. But between all the pockets of hot air are IMO two very dangerous clauses that represent a serious assault on what we ‘democrats’ would, I believe, regard as the among the most fundamental of human rights.

    As for Ugandan law: Penal Code 129 covers the sexual abuse of any person under the age of 18. As far as ‘fairness’ is concerned, it cannot be faulted. However, a government minister (and arch-homophobe) is reported recently to have made what might be considered somewhat controversial remarks regarding the raping of young girls. So your question, suzdle, is perhaps an entirely apposite one!

  • Richard Willmer

    (In Nigeria, same-sex relationships are already criminalized [14 years vs. ‘life’ in UG. In a sense, banning gay marriage itself changes nothing … but clauses 4(2) and 5(3) are IMO another, much more serious matter. As for Bahati: well, he has proposed judicial murder as ‘treatment’ for certain HIV+ people; the Nigerians haven’t done that.)