After two years in limbo, the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill will go
before Parliament for its second reading on Wednesday, May 11.
If passed, the “Kill the Gays” bill will make homosexuality
a capital offence punishable by death. The bill will also extend existing laws to make it
illegal to promote homosexuality by writing or talking about it. People who know gays will be required to report them to the authorities.
MP David Bahati brought the bill before Parliament in 2009. In
an article in the UK’s Guardian Bahati
said that homosexuality was a “learned behaviour” that could be unlearned
and that the Western world was to blame.
“You can’t tell
me that people are born gays. It is foreign influence that is at work,” he
With the deadline for the bill’s hearing approaching, gay
activists with allout.org are circulating a petition urging President Museveni to veto
the bill. The message to Museveni states, “The world is united with human
rights activists in Uganda, in asking that you publicly declare your intention
to veto the ‘Anti-Homosexuality’ bill.”
More than 300,000 people around the world have already signed the petition.
UPDATE: Reports state that Uganda’s parliament dropped plans to debate the bill after a
global outcry from U.S. leaders, rights groups and an Internet campaign