BBC World Debate programme asks ‘Is homosexuality un-African?’

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A BBC World News Debate will be screened next week on the topic ‘Is homosexuality un-African?’

The debate, which will not be broadcast in the UK but will be available to view online, features notorious Ugandan anti-gay MP David Bahati as a panellist.

Other panelists include gay activists Paula Akugizibwe and Eusebius McKaiser and former Botswana president Festus Mogae.

Last year, the BBC was heavily criticised for running an online debate titled ‘Should homosexuals face execution?’

The BBC Trust rejected significant numbers of complaints but admitted the language used had been “stark”. Then, in December, BBC News invited anti-gay extremist Stephen Green to comment on gay star Elton John’s surrogate baby.

At a screening of the debate at the Frontline Club in London, one audience member said he was “shocked” at the title of the programme.

Debate producer Ben Cashdan said: “We used that very deliberate title to force people to this kind of conversation.

“The question is: can you really say that homosexuality is not African? Because that’s exactly what Bahati argues.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda. In 2009, Mr Bahati proposed a bill to punish ‘aggravated’ gay sex with the death penalty.

The public would also be required to report gay people to police or face punishment themselves.

Last month, a BBC Three documentary saw gay Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills travel to Uganda to explore attitudes to homosexuality.

He met gay people who had been attacked and driven from their homes, while Mr Bahati sent armed police after the production crew.

In January, one of the country’s best-known gay rights campaigners, David Kato, was murdered in his home.