Robin Hammond

online, Uganda

A screen grab from The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC of David Bahati, a Ugandan MP for the constituency of Ndorwa West and is a member of the National Resistance Movement, the ruling party of Uganda. Bahati came to international attention after introducing a Private Member's Bill, the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill on 13 October 2009. This proposed that a new offence be created in Uganda named 'aggravated homosexuality' which would be punishable as a capital offence. The proposals included plans to introduce the death penalty for gay adults who had sex with those of the same sex aged under 18, with disabled people, when the accused is HIV-positive, or for those previously convicted of homosexuality-related offences. Journalists and gay rights activists claimed that in a private conversation Bahati expressed a desire to 'kill every last gay person.' Bahati was interviewed by Rachel Maddow in December 2010. Bahati asserted that USD15 million had been invested in Uganda to recruit children. When pressed by Maddow, he stated that 'They go to a school, teach them, entice them with money, to lure them into this practice'. Bahati asserted that videos are being circulated in Uganda that state that 'a man sleeping with a man is okay,' which were being used for 'recruitment'. Maddow challenged this assertion, stating that 'recruitment of children by gays is a common myth in any and all countries that have debated laws like that proposed in Uganda. Bahati made clear in the interview that the law he is proposing will go through the democratic process of Uganda and be debated upon. In addition to this, Bahati believes that America should respect its sovereignty as well as the fact that Ugandan law will have jurisdiction on Ugandans only. On 20 December 2013 the Parliament of Uganda passed the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 with the death penalty proposal dropped in favour of life in prison. On 1 August 2014, the Constitutional Court of Uganda ruled the law invalid as it was not passed with the required quorum. David Bahati has announced that the government will appeal to the Supreme Court of Uganda to overturn the ruling. While many countries around the world are legally recognising same-sex relationships, individuals in nearly 80 countries face criminal sanctions for private consensual relations with another adult of the same sex. Violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender expression is even more widespread. Across Africa Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Inter-sex (LGBTQI) individuals are being increasingly criminalised. More than two thirds of African countries have laws criminalising consensual same-sex acts. In some, homosexuality is punishable by death. In Nigeria new homophobic laws introduced in 2013 led to a dramatic increase in attacks. Under Sharia Law, homosexuality is punishable by death, up to 50 lashes and six months in prison for women; for men elsewhere, up to 14 years in prison. Same sex acts are illegal

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Robin Hammond
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Uganda
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