The new Bill avoids any explicit references to homosexuality, but co-opt sections of the Penal Code, which prescribe, among others, a life sentence for “unnatural sexual practices.”
The new Bill also expands the definition of the promotion of unnatural sexual practices and proposes a prison sentence of up to seven years for the promotion of homosexuality.
Funding for purposes of promoting unnatural sexual practice and protecting, housing or transporting homosexuals can also result in imprisonment of up to 10 years.
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Drafting of a new Ugandan Bill which could broaden the scope of anti-homosexuality legislation to include promotion of the practice is in advanced stages, sources said Wednesday.
The Bill is expected to replace the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was signed by President Yoweri Museveni in February, but expunged off Uganda’s law books by the Constitutional Court, saying Parliament lacked a quorum when it was passed.
READ: Blow to govt as court annuls new anti-gay law
A committee comprising several MPs, including Kawempe South MP Latif Ssebalgala, Vice President Edward Ssekandi and David Bahati (author of the previous Anti-Homosexual Act), has been meeting since August over the proposed law.
Mr Ssebagala told Daily Monitor this week their committee is finalising the draft which should be presented to the public before Christmas.
“The new proposal is following the common thread of The Anti-Homosexuality Act. The only differences are minor changes in the use of words,” he said.
In contrast to the nullified Act, the new Bill avoids any explicit references to homosexuality, but seems to co-opt sections of the Penal Code, which prescribe, among others, a life sentence for “unnatural sexual practices.”
Unnatural sexual practices are defined in the draft Bill as a sexual act between persons of the same sex, or with or between transsexual persons, a sexual act with an animal and anal sex.
The proposed legislation also expands the definition of “promotion of unnatural sexual practices” and proposes a prison sentence of up to seven years for the promotion of homosexuality.
Funding for purposes of “promoting unnatural sexual practice” and protecting, housing or transporting homosexuals can also result in imprisonment of up to 10 years.
Ever since the Constitutional Court nullified the previous law, it has been a top priority for a section of MPs to reintroduce it.
READ: Uganda anti-gay law to be re-introduced in parliament: speaker
Mr Bahati was hesitant to comment on the new Bill but maintained his position that the anti-homosexual laws should be implemented to protect “children of Uganda from being abused and recruited by homosexuals.”
Opposition Chief Whip Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo Woman, FDC) agreed that homosexuality should not be tolerated in Uganda.
“As long as homosexuals target and take advantage of our children and vulnerable people, the Opposition will support an anti-gay law presented to us,” she told Daily Monitor.