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Is Uganda’s “Kill the Gays bill” coming back?

Is Uganda’s “Kill the Gays bill” coming back?

It seems possible that the Ugandan parliament will take up notorious anti-gay legislation when it reconvenes later this month. Box Turtle Bulletin has the story:

It would be good to review where the bill was when the last Parliament ended. The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee reported the bill back to Parliament during the legislative body’s last week in session amid widespread and erroneous reports that the committee recommended removing the death penalty from a newly defined crime of “aggravated homosexuality,” which would include those who are HIV-positive and those who are “repeat offenders” — meaning anyone who has had either more than one relationship or more than one sexual encounter with the same individual. The committee did recommend that the phrase “suffer death” should be replaced with “the penalty provided for aggravated defilement under Section 129 of the Penal Code Act.” But the penalty under Section 129 of the Penal Code reads that anyone who “commits a felony called aggravated defilement and is, on conviction by the High Court, liable to suffer death.”

In other words, the death penalty was replaced with — the death penalty under subterfuge. You can see a detailed rundown of other recommendations of the bill here. It is unknown at this time what form a new bill would take if it were revived in the Ninth Parliament.

I suspect we will wait in vain for the Church of Uganda to condemn this morally egregious legislation. But it would be nice if that Church’s Anglican and Episcopal allies might offer at least a little mild criticism. Don’t withhold respiration, however. When a Ghanian bishop called for gays and lesbians in his country to be rounded up, the GAFCON crowd didn’t make a peep.

We don’t expect Anglican leaders like Rowan Williams to be able to stop this sort of thing singlehandedly. But isn’t it clear by now that the Anglican Communion’s policy of treating those who want to ordain LGBT people as though they are more dangerous than those who want to imprison or kill them has delivered us to an ugly place?


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Benedict Varnum

Makes me wonder if a letter-writing campaign to all of the bishops in the 33 dioceses there could help. I bet I could round up some e-mail addresses. I bet there’s some folks on e.café who know people throughout the communion, too, so it wouldn’t just be “the Americans.”

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