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Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill Update

March 16, 2010

For those who read my earlier post on the anti-homosexuality bill, I have an update. Campaigners against the bill, led by Anglican priest Canon Gideon Biyamugisha, have delivered an online petition with 450,000 signatures denouncing the proposed anti-homosexuality bill. Unfortunately, the majority of the signatures was not of Ugandan citizens and may have little impact on voting down the legislation in Uganda’s parliament.
I can not say this for sure, but I imagine the sponsor of this bill, David Bahati, never thought of the international exposure his proposal would get. Even the African hero Obama has personally denounced this bill. The shaming the bill and the government of Uganda have received could have the desired effect and turn this bill into a political hot-potato that no one wants in their hands. That is what I hope for. On the other hand, Mr. Bahati could use this to his advantage. Being socially conservative, it would be easy for him to employ the trusted us vs. them rhetoric. To site most of the opposition as coming from outside of Uganda and foment a defensive ire towards those trying to meddle in Ugandan politics could work in his favor. In this case the bill would be passed in order to remind the international community of Uganda’s sovereignty and internally serve to strengthen their conservative politicians as they rally Uganda to “fight” the intruders. I am interested to see how this plays out. I will post another update once the bill is voted on.

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