According to this article from Ugandan news source, New Vision, a bill was introduced and then tabled in the Ugandan parliament yesterday.
The bill would make homosexual relations with someone under 18 punishable by the death penalty.
The Bill, entitled the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, also states that anyone who commits the offence of homosexuality will be liable to life imprisonment.
This was already the case under the current Penal Code Act.
However, it gives a broader definition of the offence of homosexuality.
A person charged with the offence will have to undergo a mandatory medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.
The bill further states that anybody who “attempts to commit the offence” is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
“The same applies to anybody who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality” or anybody who keeps a house or room for the purpose of homosexuality.
The bill also proposes stiff sentences for people promoting homosexuality.
They risk a fine of sh100m or prison sentences of five to seven years.
This applies to people who produce, publish or distribute pornographic material for purposes of promoting homosexuality, fund or sponsor homosexuality.
Where the offender is a business or NGO, its certificate of registration will be cancelled and the director will be liable to seven years in prison.
Failure to disclose the offence within 24 hours of knowledge makes somebody liable to a maximum sh5m fine or imprisonment of up to three years.
This chilling development was promised by those who promoted the ex-gay conference back in the Spring which featured three Americans, Scott Lively, Don Schmeirer and Caleb Brundidge. Lively backed measures to keep homosexuality illegal at the time.
This bill would make ex-gay ministry such as promoted by the conference impossible as just knowing about someone who is gay could lead to fines or imprisonment.
For previous posts, click here.
Another article on the bill. Boxturtlebulletin has the text of the bill. Here is a plank justifying the harsh measures:
This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic and that people who experience this mental disorder can and have changed to a heterosexual orientation. It also recognizes that because homosexuals are not born that way, but develop this disorder based on experiences and environmental conditions, it is preventable, especially among young people who are most vulnerable to recruitment into the homosexual lifestyle.
I don’t think one’s view of etiology matters in the context of freedom. Determined or not, people are free to engage in relationships as adults and of course the state should protect minors. However, it now seems clearer than ever that the ex-gay conference was designed to give the government cover for the line of thinking presented in this bill. All involved in the ex-gay conference presented out-dated, easily falsified information in the Kampala conference. All involved have refused to bring their theories under the scrutiny of science and research. What if the Americans who went to Uganda presented accurate information about homosexuality to the Ugandan authorities? Would the authors of this bill been able to present this inadequate view of etiology unchallenged?
UPDATE from the BBC: