Uganda: Politician behind ‘Kill the Gays’ bill drops death penalty from legislation

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Ugandan politician behind the controversial anti-gay legislation to go before Parliament has dismissed claims made by the United States that the death penalty had not been removed from the draft legislation.

David Bahati said the bill, that will be voted on in the next few weeks had “moved away from the death penalty after considering all the issues that have been raised.”

“There is no death penalty,” he told The Associated Press.

Mr Bahati said the legislation will now concentrate on protecting children from viewing gay pornography, ban same-sex marriage and pubish those who promote LGBT culture. He told the agency that there would be jail terms for various offenses, but gave no firm details on their severity.

Earlier this week, United States officials in Uganda said that the Ugandan anti-gay legislation, dubbed ‘kill the gays’ could still contain the death penalty despite earlier claims that it had been reduced to life imprisonment.

The original draft of the legislation includes a provision for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”, defined as someone with HIV engaging in homosexual acts, sex with a minor or repeated offenses of homosexuality.

On Monday, Mike Freer, an openly gay British Conservative MP said that the British Government should stop giving aid to Uganda if it passes anti-gay legislation. A Conservative MEP, Marina Yannakoudakis said that the European Union must also stop aid to the country if it goes ahead with homophobic legislation.