By Melanie Nathan, May 02, 2023.
"I love the Unity of this Parliaments- Let's continue to work for the good of humanity", were the concluding words of the Ugandan Speaker, Anita Annet Among, Speaker 11th parliament, as Uganda's Parliament ended its session after passing the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, the KILL THE GAYS BILL, as harsh as the first time and barely amended. Contrast the words of a renowned Ugandan human rights defender who vowed to fight the law in Constitutional Court, "We are doomed!"
2.07 PM May 02, 2023
Concluding the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill for passage a second time after being returned to Parliament, Parliamentarians gloated and thanked each other including President Museveni, asserting with implication that have enough resources to not fear sanctions by the rest of the world.
SPEAKING to one of Uganda's most prominent activists I commiserated and their comment as "We are doomed.!"
This is a very sad day not only for Uganda's LGBQTI+ community but also for the world, as this nation has the audacity to legislate based on misinformation and myth, and hate as a result of such misunderstanding, and with such vehemence. We can thank colonization and the ongoing pressure by Evangelical Christians and all who spent the last ten years watching this happen, as little was done to try and change this obvious trajectory. Now it is too late.
Uganda's gay community has vowed to "see Parliamentarians in Court." The constitutionality of the law will be challenged. Parliament has the power to pass the law without the President's assent with a 2/3rd majority vote. By sheer size and vote, the live broadcast reflects this quorum was met. The MPs thanked President Museveni for his support although he sent the ACT back without assenting after the first passage, for amendment. Now it has passed.
There was one courageous Parliamentarian MP ODOI OYWELOWO FOX of West Budama North East County, NRM, who stood up and presented the Minority Report calling for the rejection of the Bill in its entirety, based on the contradiction that one cannot exist as LGBT and then be accused of a crime when trying to enjoy one's basic related freedoms. MP Fox noted that the ACT is unconstitutional and breaches Uganda's obligation under a myriad of legal instruments, as well as all the freedom and rights of LGBTI people.
In the Speaker's attempts to shut down the minority dissent by MP Fox, she asked him to delete the word "we as the minority" from the record and to replace it with "I", noting in that entire Parliament there was only one brave voice of dissent.
The Bill retains the harshest measures to include the death penalty and has remained mostly unchanged.
HERE IS THE BILL AS RETURNED:
DETAILS TO FOLLOW SOON: