Uganda bill refined?

Bloomberg (and, so far, only Bloomberg) is reporting,

Uganda will drop the death penalty and life imprisonment for gays in a refined version of an anti-gay bill expected to be ready for presentation to Parliament in two weeks, James Nsaba Buturo, the minister of ethics and integrity, said.

The draft bill, which is under consideration by a parliamentary committee, will drop the two punishments to attract the support of religious leaders who are opposed to these penalties, Buturo said today in a phone interview from the capital, Kampala.

If it was religious leaders in Uganda that opposed life imprisonment that contradicts this news report from October. There the spokesman for the Anglican Church of Uganda is quoted as saying, “We should emphasise life imprisonment.”

The “refinements” include the “promotion” of counseling. There is no mention of how short sentences would be for homosexuality, or whether sentences for failure to out homosexuals are still in the bill.

At the same time, The Monitor reports,

At least 200 senior religious leaders in Uganda have thrown their weight behind the government backing it not to “yield to pressure” from donor countries that are demanding the withdrawal of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill before Parliament.

At their three-day meeting in Entebbe this week, the spiritual leaders came up with several recommendations that are opposed to homosexuals.

Bishops from the Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, Seventh Day Adventist churches as well as Muslim kadhis agreed to defend the Bill in their centres of worship.

The member of parliament who first submitted the anti-gay bill spoke at the conference.

The Anglican Church of Uganda issued a statement on November 6th which restated its position the homosexuality was immoral and homosexuals recruited young people. It said it was “studying” the bill, but upheld the sanctity of life and could not support the death clause. The provincial secretary of the Church later said “It is an important law, but the provision related to the death penalty may prevent this law from being passed, because death should not be accepted as a punishment. Therefore propose another form of punishment instead of death.”

A faculty member at the Uganda Christian University [Anglican] and Bishop Joseph Abura of Karamoja Diocese stridently supported the bill as originally drafted.

Regarding the “cure” for homosexuality, remember that was Americans selling the “cure” was the impetus for the original bill.

For the Bloomberg link H/T goes to Father Jake.

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