The Cabinet Committee reviewing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is to make recommendations to the Ugandan Parliament saying the Bill had
“technical defects in form and content”. The result left the draft legislation almost bare, as nearly all of the clauses were found either redundant, repetitive of existing laws, or even useless. In fact, the committee found that only “Clause 13” of the draft legislation, about the promotion of homosexuality, had some merit.
This is not the first instance where the Bill has been criticised and there has been a move to focus only on “promotion of homosexuality”. However even if all other sections of the Bill are removed, “promotion” has itself such a broad interpretation and would include any organisations working on sexuality, gender identity, HIV/AIDS, human rights and LGBTI friendly religious institutions, lawyers, doctors, priests etc plus of course LGBTI people would be criminalised. Two or three people meeting to discuss anything to do with the above could be defined as “promotion”.
The Committee was set up by President Museveni after pressure from the US – Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama and other countries in Europe to drop the Bill. The news that international donors are to cut aid to Uganda by 35% though not reported as directly to do with the Bill, has no doubt influenced the recommendations of the Committee.
The struggle is by no means over but I want to fully acknowledge the work of African LGBTI activists and especially our sisters and brothers in Uganda who have fought tirelessly and at much risk to their lives and livelihoods to get this Bill scrapped onto the garbage heap where it belongs.