Ugandan lawmakers are once again considering a bill that would heighten punishments for not only homosexual acts, but for any LGBT advocacy. Ugandan Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is one of the chief proponents of such measures, and this weekend she warned Christian ministers in the country that they have much to fear from gay rights activists.
“Be very careful because gays are here to distort our heritage,” she told clergy gathered for Golden Jubilee celebrations at St. Stephen’s Church in Pajwenda on Sunday. “We have discovered that they adopt our children and confine them in gay communities abroad to train them on gay practices. By the time they come back home, they are already influenced by homosexuality and are used to influence others in the community.”
Kadaga also warned that computers and books donated to Uganda schools include software and literature that promote homosexuality.
Ironically, the Golden Jubilee is a celebration of the country’s independence from Britain, but it was Britain that first implemented sodomy laws in the 1800s. In fact, many of the countries across Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands that have similar sodomy laws owe their anti-gay sentiment not to their own culture, but to their relatively more recent colonial roots.
Two years ago, Kadaga was urging lawmakers to pass what was then referred to as the “Kill The Gays” bill, which would have allowed the death penalty for those convicted of homosexuality. She said it would make a good “Christmas gift” to its advocates. Such a law eventually passed, though the death penalty had been amended down to a life sentence in jail. This August, Uganda’s Constitutional Court struck the law down, ruling not on its merits but on the process by which it was passed through Parliament. Kadaga had held a vote without a quorum call, forcing the bill into law with less than one third of lawmakers present.