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Ugandan ‘kill the gays’ bill dies

The Ugandan legislation that would have imposed the death penalty on repeat violators of the nation’s ban on gay sex died in Parliament on May 13 without seeing a vote.

However, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill could be reintroduced in the next session of Parliament in June.

The measure would have imprisoned for life anyone convicted of “the offense of homosexuality.” Repeat offenders, as well as HIV-positive people who had gay sex, would have been put to death. People in positions of authority would have been required to report within 24 hours the existence of any gay people they were aware of. Violators of the reporting requirement would have been jailed for three years. Other provisions targeted people who could be seen as helping gays in any way.

The bill was widely condemned around the world. On May 12, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department said, “No amendments, no changes, would justify the passage of this odious bill.”

Should the bill be reintroduced, it “would be required to return to the beginning of the legislative process, including getting clearance from the minister of finance and facing public consultations by various parliamentary committees,” said Human Rights Watch’s Boris Dittrich.

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