Uganda anti-homosexuality bill off the table as parliament is dissolved

News
May 13, 2011

Uganda anti-homosexuality bill off the table as parliament is dissolved

A Ugandan parliamentary debate and vote on a draconian anti-homosexuality bill due to happen today did not take place after the country’s parliament was officially dissolved.

Ugandan MPs had been set to debate the bill, which could allow the death penalty for homosexual acts in some cases, but parliament was dissolved on Friday without any new legislation being discussed.

“We are relieved that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was not passed into law today,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa.

"This bill would have institutionalised the discrimination, including harassment and arbitrary arrests, that LGBT people in Uganda already face."

New Members of Parliament will be sworn in next week after February 2011’s general elections.  The bill could be reintroduced when the new parliament begins sitting then.

Ugandan and international rights organisations, including Amnesty International, have been campaigning for parliament to reject the bill, which also proposes life imprisonment for entering into a same-sex marriage.