Uganda won’t be getting a new anti-gay law in time for Christmas

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Uganda’s parliament has adjourned for Christmas without passing the country’s new anti-gay law, despite a push to get it through beforehand.

The country’s previous Anti-Homosexuality Act was struck down by a court – but lawmakers have drafted 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, had attempted to fast-track it through Parliament this session so Ugandans “can celebrate it as a Christmas gift”.

He said previously: “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.”

However, the country’s parliament adjourned this week before lawmakers were able to discuss the law – with President Museveni reportedly stalling the plans, over fears the law would hurt trade and relations with the West.

The law is now unlikely to come back to Parliament until February at the earliest, according to Buzzfeed.

Activists have celebrated the minor victory – though it is still entirely possible that the bill will eventually be passed.

Rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo tweeted: “Everyone had held their breath. Thankfully, there is temporary reprieve. No one shd rest on their laurels though.”