Tags: Uganda | gay | death | penalty

Ugandan Ministers Protest Gay Death Penalty

Friday, 08 Jan 2010 11:29 AM


KAMPALA — A senior Ugandan minister on Friday came out against a proposed new law calling for punishment up to the death penalty for gays which has faced international condemnation.

"The government's position is that the existing provisions in our penal code against homosexuality are strong enough and that this new bill is not necessary," Aston Kajara, the state minister for investments, told AFP.

"The penal code already sufficiently covers this issue," he added.

However, another top minister contested Kajara's comments .

Ethics Minister James Nsaba Buturo, a staunch supporter of the bill who has repeatedly stated that "homosexuals can forget about human rights," said Kajara could not speak on behalf of government. "I would be the right person to speak for government on this issue not Mr Kajara," Buturo told AFP.

The bill, already before parliament, would impose the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," including by those who are HIV positive.

It would also criminalise public discussion of homosexuality and could penalise an individual who knowingly rented property to a homosexual.

Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda punishable by terms of imprisonment of up to life.

The bill has sparked widespread condemnation by rights groups and western nations who have criticised it as a setback to equal rights.

Last month Buturo told reporters: "Nobody, nobody, nobody has the right to think for Ugandans. Nobody has the right to impose their values on a sovereign state."

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Africa
Uganda,gay,death,penalty
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2010-29-08
Friday, 08 Jan 2010 11:29 AM
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