Ugandan lawmaker: New anti-gay law could be ‘Christmas gift’

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A Ugandan lawmaker wants the new anti-gay law to be passed swiftly, as a “Christmas gift” to the nation.

The country’s previous Anti-Homosexuality Act was struck down by a court – but lawmakers are drafting an even harsher ‘Prohibition of the Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill’ to replace it.

Politician Abdu Latif Ssebagala, who is part of the committee responsible for the new bill, has called for it to be fast-tracked through Parliament in time for Christmas.

He told Reuters: “The draft is ready and we have strengthened the law, especially in areas of promotion and luring children. Next week we expect to meet the speaker to fix a date for the re-tabling to parliament.”

He added that he wants the law passed soon, so that Ugandans “can celebrate it as a Christmas gift”.

In addition to banning homosexuality outright, Uganda would also adopt a Russia-style ban on the “promotion” of homosexuality, which can be used to stifle dissent.

Broader-reaching parts of the law also target charities and NGOs who work on LGBT rights, attacking “funding for purposes of promoting unnatural sexual practices”, and also makes it a crime to “make a representation … by whatever means of a person engaged in real or fictitious unnatural sexual practices”.

In going after people who support and look after their LGBT friends and family, the law is likely to cause even more harm to the community than the Anti-Homosexuality Act did.