The Ugandan government has set aside a long-simmering, highly controversial bill that would have imposed the death penalty on gays in certain cases, such as repeated convictions for same-gender sexual activity. The bill would also have punished heterosexuals sympathetic to gays by requiring them to report same-sex relationships to the authorities or face serious consequences.
The bill’s introduction in 2009 by anti-gay legislator David Bahati--who has been linked with anti-gay American evangelicals--created a global firestorm of criticism that threatened international aid money to the country. Though Uganda appeared to back off the bill, it seemed headed toward a vote this year.
Now, however, Ugandan lawmakers say that a new anti-gay law is not needed, since there are already proscriptions and penalties against gays on the books, Equality Matters reported on March 25. Current law provides for prison time ranging from twenty years to life for same-sex intimacy.
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