Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Uganda debates anti-homosexuality bill; vote in parliament possible this week

A Ugandan parliament committee on Monday held a second day of hearings on an anti-homosexuality bill that attracted worldwide condemnation for its harsh penalties, which include a death penalty provision.

Lawmakers indicated the bill could be voted on this week, the Associated Press reported.

The bill’s author, David Bahati, told The Associated Press last month that the death penalty provision in the bill was “something we have moved away from.” The bill is now undergoing debate and negotiations, so a new version would likely be presented before a final vote is held.

One of the bill’s backers, an anti-gay pastor named Martin Ssempa, told the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on Monday that he does not support the death penalty provision. He said instead that gays should face up to seven years in prison.

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