Speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, was looking forward to passing the bill, and recently said the bill should be viewed as a “Christmas gift” to its advocates.
Although the bill, called “The K!ll the Gays” bill, still exists, and still exacts penalties for homosexuals, but the death penalty has been dropped from the legislation.
Foreign donors had threatened to cut aid to Uganda if gay rights weren’t respected in the country, and the Ugandan government responded to the threats by dropping the death penalty from the bill.
The bill originally called for the death penalty in cases where a person is convicted of “aggravated homosexuality”, meaning when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender.”
The bill in its current form drops that provision, but still calls for life in prison for some homosexuals. It also allows for prison time for anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality”.
Lawmakers are pressing forward with the remainder of the bill, but the president and lawmakers may still come under pressure from the international community to abandon the effort.
Last year the bill was strongly maligned by most Western leaders, with President Obama calling it “odious.”