"Kill the Gays" Bill Isn't Dead, No Matter What Uganda's Cabinet Says
The Ugandan cabinet made its clearest attempt yet to rid the legislative agenda of the "kill the gays" bill. But parliament's David Bahati isn't listening, potentially keeping the bill on a fast track toward passage.
The Daily Monitor reports today that the ruling party's lawyer, Adolf Mwesige, convinced cabinet ministers during a meeting Wednesday that the bill is unnecessary. Mwesige reportedly advised them to search the archives because other laws already criminalized homosexual acts.
Before the cabinet expressed its opinion, the bill had actually been on a faster track toward passage because lawmakers invoked a rules maneuver that lets them pick up where they left off during the previous session, when they ran out of time.
But Bahati, the member of parliament sponsoring the "kill the gays" bill, insisted the cabinet stay out of the parliament's business. Ugandan expert Warren Throckmorton reports on his blog that parliament spokeswoman Helen Kawesa said the bill "is in the parliament now. It’s parliament’s property.”
Throckmorton points out that the cabinet was similarly ignored in 2010, when a committee led by Mwesige recommended dismissing the bill. That triggered a spate of reports that prematurely declared the saga's end.