Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, a crime punishable by as long as 14 years in prison. But Uganda's parliamentary committee is now reviewing a bill that contains provisions for the death penalty for some homosexual acts, fines and jail terms for some citizens who do not report homosexual activity, and 7-year prison terms for anyone who aids or abets homosexual activities, including HIV/AIDS service workers.
The ruling party seems seriously to have underestimated the international furore the Bill would provoke, with everyone from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Hillary Clinton and Rick Warren lining up to condemn it. What, to repeat, at first looked like a diversionary tactic has turned into a global PR disaster that reflects badly on the government of Uganda’s political judgment...
...The likeliest outcome, at this writing [mid-December last year], is that the ruling party will now distance itself from Bahati (as his Christian associates in the United States have already done.) Bahati’s political career is probably over, poor chap. The Bill will probably get lost in parliamentary procedures, without the government losing face (at home, anyway) by bowing too openly to ‘neo-colonial’ pressure...
But in his first public comments on the issue, Mr Museveni told a meeting of ruling party members their handling of the bill "must take into account our foreign policy interests".
"The prime minister of Canada came to see me and what was he talking about? Gays," he said.
"[UK] Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to see me and what was he talking about? Gays.
"Mrs Clinton [the US secretary of state] rang me. What was she talking about? Gays."
He said the cabinet would be talking to David Bahati about his bill and would thrash out the government's position on it.
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