Bill Imposing Death Penalty for 'Aggravated Homosexuality' Rejected by Ugandan President: It Wasn't Tough Enough
In an incredibly stark reminder that LGBT adulation is an almost exclusively Western concept, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has rejected a bill criminalizing homosexuality — because it wasn’t nearly strong enough.
To wit, the African nation of Uganda had fallen under a bit of international scrutiny following the passage of a bill last month that would impose harsh penalties on gay people.
Specifically, the bill as passed would make “aggravated homosexuality” — CBS News said that is a “broad term which is used to describe same sex acts with children or people with disabilities, or serial offenders or people with HIV” — punishable by death.
It also includes 20 years in prison for promoting homosexuality.
For Museveni, that wasn’t quite stringent enough, as he seeks the “strengthening” of certain aspects of the bill, according to Reuters.
“Before [the bill becomes law] we also agree that the bill will be returned in order to facilitate the reinforcement and the strengthening of some provisions in line with our best practices,” Denis Hamson Obua, chief whip of the ruling National Resistance Movement, told reporters after meeting with Museveni on the legislation.
Kwizera Eddie Wagahungu, another lawmaker in the NRM, did not elaborate on what, specifically, would be changed, saying the president might just want some clerical improvements.
One line of thinking is that Museveni and the party are reworking the bill to avoid potential legal conflicts or precedents that could make a court challenge much more difficult.
The stringent bill had drawn widespread condemnation from the international community even before any “strengthening.”
The United Nations put out an open letter in March pleading with Museveni to not sign the bill.
“The passing of this discriminatory bill — probably among the worst of its kind in the world — is a deeply troubling development,” Volker Türk, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement.
“If signed into law by the President, it will render lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Uganda criminals simply for existing, for being who they are,” he said. “It could provide carte blanche for the systematic violation of nearly all of their human rights and serve to incite people against each other.”
Aside from the human rights aspect, Türk also expressed concern over the murky legal area of parts of the bill.
“The bill confuses consensual and non-consensual relations — the former should never be criminalized, whereas the latter require evidence-based measures to end sexual violence in all its forms — including against children, no matter the gender or sexual orientation of the perpetrator. This bill will be a massive distraction from taking the necessary action to end sexual violence,” he said.
Türk and the United Nations are hardly the only ones seeking to stop the legislation.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre began her March 22 briefing by calling out Uganda.
“I want to say one thing at the top,” Jean-Pierre said after her opening greetings. “We have grave concerns with the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act — AHA — by the parliament of Uganda yesterday and increasing violence targeting LGBTQI+ persons.
“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and [investments] in Uganda, and damage Uganda’s international reputation.
“The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”
She added, “No one should be attacked, imprisoned or killed simply because of who they are or whom they love.”
Uganda, a majority-Christian nation in East Africa, already has laws outlawing homosexual relationships, as do most African nations that were colonized by the British.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.