Thursday, 10 December 2009

Ugandan bill is being toned down

There is news that the Ugandan bill is being toned down. This is from Andrew Sullivan in "The Atlantic"

"the death penalty and life imprisonment may be stripped from the Ugandan bill in favor of forcing gays into "counseling." Jim Burroway keeps in mind the other sections of the bill. It would:

* Criminalize all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda with fines and imprisonment of between five and seven years.

* Criminalize the act of obtaining a same-sex marriage abroad with lifetime imprisonment. This penalty may be reduced in the new version, but the act still appears to be criminalized to some extent.

* Add a clause which forces friends or family members to report LGBT persons to police within 24-hours of learning about that individual’s homosexuality or face fines or imprisonment of up to three years.

* Add an extra-territorial and extradition provisions, allowing Uganda to prosecute LGBT Ugandans living abroad.

* Void all international treaties, agreements and human rights obligations which conflict with this bill.

One of his readers asks:

I wonder if they didn’t initially include the death penalty in this bill as a ploy, knowing they would bargain it away so that once it was gone the rest of the bill wouldn’t seem so extreme."

So, the death penalty and life imprisonment are off the agenda - good. This may be the result of ++Rowan's "quiet diplomacy" (at least in part). What is still highly disturbing is the current role of Ugandan religious leaders (including the Anglican bishops) in supporting what's left.

A sort of very limited victory - but still the pressure needs to be applied.

A late addition: the Media office attached to the Office of the President seems to be suggesting that this bill ought to be dropped!!! Check out


  1. Isn't it interesting that this, um, "improved" bill is likely to be voted on during the week of Christmas.
    O God, make haste to help us!

  2. I'd missed that bit: they really ought to have left it until Holy Week just so we could all see what martyrdom look like today.

  3. Yes! Much more seasonally appropriate for what they are doing!