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Reports from Uganda indicate that the administration wants to shelve the bill that would punish gay people with death in certain instances, but David Bahati, the bill's main sponsor in parliament, appears unwilling to back down.
Information minister Masiko Kabakumba appeared Thursday on NTV to announce that the administration of President Yoweri Museveni had determined the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to be redundant because other laws already make being gay a crime in the country. The new proposal, which sparked international outcry when it was introduced in 2009, would magnify the penalties to include execution for "aggravated homosexuality," such as having sex when HIV-positive.
Kabakumba said that another law, the Sexual Offenses Bill, would cover any outstanding concerns, but Bahati, the lawmaker with connections to antigay American evangelicals, insisted that a "specific and clear" law is still needed to fight the "promotion" of homosexuality. In addition, Warren Throckmorton reports that Bahati has been assured by legal and parliamentary affairs committee chair Stephen Tashobya that debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will proceed.
Bahati said that "95%" of Ugandans do not support homosexuality, a claim that Kabakumba did not challenge.
"Of course we are concerned," she said. "We don't condone homosexuality in our country."
However, the Ugandan government has come under increasing international pressure because of the brutal legislation. This week, the United States, which provides more than $500 million in aid to the African country, led the effort at the United Nations Human Rights Council for a resolution signed by 85 countries to end violence against LGBT people.