Campaigner: Uganda’s anti-gay bill may not be passed in time for Christmas

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The executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) believes the Ugandan Parliament may break up for the year without passing the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Frank Mugisha told reporters on Thursday the country’s so-called ‘kill the gays’ bill could die a procedural death as early as this weekend.

Unless the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, who this week has been in Rome and yesterday received a blessing from the Pope, asks for an extension of the current session, the bill will fail without a vote when lawmakers break up for the year on Saturday (15 Dec).

Speaking with Uganda’s WBS TV on Thursday, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi hinted that, because of existing laws that ban gay sex dating back to the British Empire, the proposed bill isn’t even necessary.

However, even if the bill dies this year, it could easily be picked up again in the 2013 session.

Mr Mugisha said: “If this legislation comes before parliament for debate, there is a lot of support from members of parliament, so definitely, it will be passed. And if this legislation is passed, it is sent over to the president of Uganda [Yoweri Museveni] to sign.

The LGBT campaigner continued: “There has been rumour that the president of Uganda may not sign this legislation, and in that case, I think the president might sign this legislation.

“However, he might ask for this legislation to be reviewed, and watered down. Also, if he refused to sign this legislation and it has been rejected, our parliament can still pass the legislation if a certain percentage of parliament supports the legislation.”