Ugandan MP says he may amend anti-gay bill

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

The MP who tabled Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill has said he may amend parts of it.

David Bahati had previously refused to change provisions which would impose the death penalty or life imprisonment on gays, saying they would protect the “traditional family”.

Yesterday, he told Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper that he may amend the bill “without putting the values of the country at risk”.

Bahati attended a meeting yesterday with the cabinet on the bill but said he could not discuss what happened.

He said: “They are going to meet me and we discuss some amendments but the process of legislation continues.”

The bill is a private member’s bill and Bahati said he was able to amend clauses if required by the government.

Information minister Kabakumba Masiko said a sub-committee had been formed to “see if we can amend it”.

She told the newspaper: “The sub-committee will be headed by Attorney General Khidu Makubuya but being a private member’s bill and a property of parliament, the process of legislation must continue. But the government will suggest amendments.”

The anti-homosexuality bill, which could also jail the families, friends, colleagues and landlords of gay people for not reporting them, has come under increasing global scrutiny in recent weeks.

Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni made his first public comment about it last week, saying he had been pressured by British prime minister Gordon Brown and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton to discard it.

A Swedish minister suggested cutting off aid to the country last month.