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Uganda: Former ethics minister urges MPs to pass anti-gay bill

James Nsaba Buturo says country under pressure from gay rights supporters: report

Uganda's former ethics minister James Nsaba Buturo calls on MPs to pass Anti-Homosexuality Bill Credit: in2eastafrica.net

A former ethics minister in Uganda is calling on MPs to pass a beleaguered anti-gay bill and plans to lobby voters to put pressure on legislators to do so immediately, The Observer reports.

James Nsaba Buturo told reporters that gay rights supporters are on a "propaganda spree" and are leveraging a number of international organizations to press their opponents  to "normalize" homosexuality. Buturo also accused gay rights proponents of using threats and bribery and added that he is worried that David Bahati, the MP who is spearheading the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, had been forced into silence about the measure.

The report also said Buturo felt MPs should follow the "heroic" lead of countries like Nigeria and Russia, which had both passed anti-gay legislation.

The so-called Kill the Gays bill, which reportedly still includes the death penalty for those found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality," has been making its way up and down the parliamentary agenda for months, but has not yet been put to a vote.

Parliamentary speaker Rebecca Kadaga, infuriated by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's criticism of her country's gay rights record at a Quebec City conference last year, returned home with a promise to pass the measure as a Christmas gift to Ugandans. But her threat to expedite its passage has not materialized.