Uganda strikes down bid to revive anti-gay bill

Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:46pm GMT
 

KAMPALA Aug 23 (Reuters) - Uganda's cabinet has blocked an attempt by some legislators to reintroduce a bill that called for the death penalty for gays who are considered "repeat offenders".

The small but vocal anti-gay movement in Uganda, spearheaded by several MPs and a group of bishops, won notoriety when the legislation was originally introduced in 2009.

U.S. President Barack Obama denounced it as "odious" and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to reject it.

"We discussed that bill in cabinet last week and after views from everyone were heard and debated, a decision was unanimously taken to drop that proposed law," Ugandan Attorney General Peter Nyombi told Reuters on Tuesday.

"The position of the cabinet is that there's already sufficient law to take care of all crimes envisaged by the proposed anti-homosexuality bill."

The legislation was not passed during the east African country's last parliamentary session but a group of government MPs had vowed to reintroduce it. Political analysts in Uganda say the decision by the cabinet to come out publicly against it should mean it cannot be passed in the near future.

The bill had been quietly shelved under pressure from foreign governments and gay rights groups before, but activists feared it would end up being passed after President Yoweri Museveni's February election victory. (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Writing by Barry Malone; Editing by Richard Lough and Mark Heinrich)

 
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