Uganda debates new anti-gay bill

Lawmakers may reconsider making "aggravated homosexuality" punishable by death

In Uganda, an anti-homosexuality bill put forward by the ruling party is being reconsidered due to “foreign policy issues.” Domestically, the legislation is widely supported; however, Western donors have been critical. Homosexuality is already outlawed in the country. But leaders want drastic new measures to stifle what they see as an increase in same-sex relationships. A particularly controversial proposal is the new offense of “aggravated homosexuality”—when one of the participants in a homosexual act is a minor, HIV-positive or a “serial offender”—and carries the penalty of death. Additionally, anyone convicted of gay sex  under the new bill would be subject to life in imprisonment. Some leaders, like Ugandan ethics and integrity minister James Nsaba Buturo, say that the overall bill will pass—but he admits that the death penalty provisions will likely be omitted due to international pressures. Others, like Frank Mugisha, chair of Sexual Minorities Uganda, say the bill will fail, and the debate is “just wasting time.”

The Guardian