The Ugandan parliament is back discussing a controversial anti-gay rights bill it expects to pass by the end of the year, speaker Rebecca Kadaga told the Associated Press — according to The Guardian.
"Ugandans are demanding it," said Kadaga about the gruesome bill that originally intended the death penalty "for some homosexual acts." And, though the provision was dropped from the bill amid an international outcry, activists say the upcoming piece of legislation encourages violence against gay and lesbians in the African nation.
The parliament's decision is backed and encouraged by Ugandan anti-gay activists, among them some Christian clerics, who are asking Speaker Kadaga to pass the bill "as a Christmas gift." They base their demand on what they believe is the fact that "homosexual behavior and related practices constitute a threat to the traditional family."
The phrase "related practices" presents an additional problem as it's open to interpretation and could set the stage for widespread persecution. Though the draft of the bill explains that touching "with the intent to commit a homosexual act" is a crime, the vague provision endangers professionals such as medical staff, counselors, priests and pastors, employers and even family members who would be indeed exposed to death as clause five of the bill effectively allows "victims" to kill anyone they claim has committed a "homosexual offense" against them ("a victim of homosexuality shall not be penalized for any crime committed as a direct result of his or her involvement in homosexuality").
Furthermore, the jurisdiction of the bill extends beyond Uganda and includes the "nullification of inconsistent international treaties, protocols declarations and conventions." The controversial bill would remain valid and relevant if: a) "a person who, while being a citizen of or permanently residing in Uganda, commits an act outside Uganda; or b) the offense was committed partly outside and or partly in Uganda."
Though the bill counts with widespread support, it also has detractors; among them, a former mayor of Kampala — who said the bill was "unnecessary but [...] too risky to oppose," as well as Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, who's on the record as saying he doesn't want anything to do with this bill.