By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com December 14 2012 5:51 PM ET
As The Advocate reported yesterday, Uganda's parliament adjourned for its winter break today, without voting on the controversial "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," which would call for the death penalty for some LGBT people, and life imprisonment of many others.
Jim Burroway at BoxTurtleBulletin noted an inaccuracy in an earlier Advocate report that declared the bill could "die a procedural death" as early as today. In fact, Burroway notes, this adjournment is only a vacation — the same Parliament will resume its business likely in January 2013, and will serve until 2016.
That means the bill can still come up for debate at any time Parliament is in session, though it notably moved from the top spot on Parliament's Orders Papers of "Business to Follow," to number seven, according to Burroway.
On a conference call yesterday, LGBT leader Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, said that if and when the bill comes before Parliament, it is likely to pass.
"If this legislation comes before Parliament for debate, there is a lot of support from members of parliament, so definitely, it will be passed," said Mugisha. "And if this legislation is passed, it is sent over to the president of Uganda to sign. There has been rumor 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."
If that happens, Mugisha said he and his allies at SMUG and within Uganda's LGBT community are ready to challenge the law at the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds.