By Spy Uganda
Ugandan lawmakers passed a bill prescribing life in prison jail terms for offenses related to same-sex relations.
The bill was passed late Tuesday inside a packed parliamentary chamber, and after a roll call ordered by the House speaker, who had repeatedly warned it was necessary to identify those who might oppose the bill. It was supported by nearly all of the 389 legislators present.
“Congratulations,” said Speaker Anita Among. “Whatever we are doing, we are doing it for the people of Uganda.”
An earlier version of the bill enacted in 2014 later was nullified by a court on procedural grounds.
The bill now will go to President Yoweri Museveni, who can veto or sign it into law. He suggested in a recent speech that he supports the bill, accusing unnamed Western nations of “trying to impose their practices on other people.”
The bill was introduced last month by an opposition lawmaker who said his goal was to punish “promotion, recruitment and funding” related to LGBTQ activities.
His bill creates the offense of “aggravated homosexuality,” which applies in cases of sex relations.
The bill however was not sweet for a ‘shameless’ lawmaker Fox Odoi who defended the homosexuals saying the bill is “ill-conceived” and unconstitutional because it “criminalizes individuals instead of conduct.”
Anti-gay sentiment in Uganda has grown in recent weeks amid alleged reports of sodomy in boarding schools, including a prestigious one for boys where a parent accused a teacher of abusing her son.
Homosexuality is criminalized in more than 30 of Africa’s 54 countries.