Uganda Parliamentary Speaker Expects Passage of New Anti-Gay Law

Ugandan Parliamentary Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said she expects lawmakers to restore anti-gay legislation nullified by a court on procedural grounds.

Lawmaker Latif Ssebaggala last week began circulating a petition to re-introduce a law imposing hasher sentences for homosexual acts. The constitutional court annulled the Anti-Homosexual Act on Aug. 1 because it was passed without a requisite parliamentary quorum. More than 200 of the country’s about 385 legislators have signed a petition promising to support bringing back similar legislation, according to Kadaga.

“Now that we have the 207 signatures, the rest is going to be smooth,” the Kampala-based, state-run Uganda Media Centre cited Kadaga as saying on its Twitter account. “The merit of the people of Uganda is still alive.”

While homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni in February signed into law an act that toughened penalties to as long as life in prison for aggravated homosexuality. The move sparked foreign donors including the U.S., World Bank and Sweden to suspend or re-direct funds away from the government.

Supporters of the anti-gay law say it’s needed to safeguard the country’s traditions.

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