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Uganda Parliament Votes to Continue Anti-Homosexual Bill

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Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Uganda’s parliament voted to reopen a debate on a bill that seeks to outlaw homosexuality that may be expanded to include the death penalty for gay people.

The legislation will be sent to the relevant session committee for consideration, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told lawmakers today in a televised debate from the capital, Kampala.

In October 2009, Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati proposed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that sought the death penalty or life imprisonment for gay people in the East African nation. The proposal drew criticism from international and domestic civil-society groups for infringing on human rights and equating homosexuality with terrorism or treason.

Legislators on Uganda’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee in the previous parliament suggested adding a clause that would make it a criminal offense to perform same-sex marriages, Human Rights Watch said in a statement on May 12.

The committee said in its report that the penalty of “aggravated homosexuality” should be the same as defilement, a crime that is punishable by death under the Penal Code Act.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala at fojambo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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