Ugandan government plans to bring back ‘Kill the Gays’ bill

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A person holds an umbrella bearing the colors of the rainbow flag as others wave flags during the the first gay pride rally since the overturning of a tough anti-homosexuality law, which authorities have appealed, in Entebbe, on August 9, 2014. The overturned law, condemned as "abominable" by rights groups but popular among many Ugandans, called for proven homosexuals to be jailed for life. AFP PHOTO/ ISAAC KASAMANI (Photo credit should read ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
A Ugandan man with a sticker on his face takes part on August 9, 2014 in the annual gay pride in Entebbe, Uganda. Uganda’s attorney general has filed an appeal against the constitutional court’s decision to overturn tough new anti-gay laws, his deputy said on August 9.  AFP PHOTO/ ISAAC KASAMANI (Photo credit should read ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ugandan government has announced plans to reintroduce a controversial bill that would punish homosexuality with the death penalty.

The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks.

The government said the legislation would curb a rise in “unnatural sex” in Uganda.

“Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that,” the country’s ethics and integrity minister, Simon Lokodo, told the media.

He added that the current penal law is “limited,” making it clear that anyone involved in “promotion and recruitment” will be criminalised.

“Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence,” he said.

Mr. Lokodo said the Bill, which has the support of the country’s President, Yoweri Museveni, will be reintroduced in parliament in the coming weeks.

He said it was expected to be voted on before the end of the year.

The minister was optimistic the bill would pass with the necessary two-thirds of members present as the government had lobbied legislators ahead of its reintroduction.

In 2014, Uganda faced widespread international condemnation when the Bill was signed off by Museveni.

The United States reduced aid, imposed visa restrictions and cancelled military exercises.

The World Bank, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands also suspended or redirected aid.

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