Uganda plans bill imposing death penalty for gay sex

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

By Nita Bhalla

NAIROBI, Oct 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Uganda announced plans on Thursday for a bill that would impose the death penalty on homosexuals, saying the legislation would curb a rise in unnatural sex in the east African nation.

The bill - colloquially known as "Kill the Gays" in Uganda - was nullified five years ago on a technicality and the government said it plans to resurrect it within weeks.

"Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that," Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalises the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalised. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence."

African countries have some of the world's most prohibitive laws governing homosexuality. Same-sex relationships are considered taboo and gay sex is a crime across most of continent, with punishments ranging from imprisonment to death.

Earlier this year, Brunei sparked international outcry over plans to impose the death penalty for gay sex, backtracking only after intense criticism. (Reporting by Nita Bhalla. Editing by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)