Members of Parliament Consider New Strategy to Enact Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

According to a pro-gay website (Freedom and Roam Uganda), there is concern that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill has returned with a new legislative strategy. FARUG reports this morning that amendments have already been made to Section 145 of the Penal Code Act. However, when I talked to Helen Kawesa, spokeswoman for Parliament, she knew nothing of a bill to amend Section 145. ¬†Initially, she thought I was asking about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which she said is “still in committee.”

Apparently, a new bill has not been tabled yet, but indeed, according to other sources, there is a proposal to achieve the same ends as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill by amending the Penal Code Act. Section 145 now prohibits “canal knowledge of any person against the order of nature.” The proposal would prohibit sexual acts with a person of the same sex and the use of any media in a way that depicted homosexuality in a positive manner. Life in prison and the death penalty are also included according to the FARUG report.

Currently, it is not known who plans to offer the amendment or when it will be offered. A review of the order paper for today finds nothing on the subject. According to Susan Merembe of the Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), there is no bill at present. On SMUG’s Facebook page, she said

The bill has not yet been tabled. Try to breathe, the info was just an update to keep your eyes open. Political lobbying really, nothing too exciting.

Rumors that changes to the code have already been made are apparently incorrect. However, this political lobbying may signal that a renewed effort is on the horizon.