Conference doors shut on Bahati

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By Risdel Kasasira

Posted  Thursday, December 9   2010 at  00:00

In Summary

Unfortunate incident
“If it’s true that he was barred from the conference, then it’s unfortunate because Americans have seen and felt democracy. The organisers should have listened to his divergent view,” he said
Mr Bahati’s Bill suggests life imprisonment for homosexuals, and in certain cases, death by hanging for those who recruit minors into the act.

Ndorwa West MP David Bahati was on Tuesday denied entry into a conference on financial management in Washington because of his anti-homosexuality Bill.

Organisers told Mr Bahati that they had “made a decision” to deny him entrance to the International Consortium of Governmental Financial Management conference although four other Ugandan MPs were given the green light.

Clinton factor
Days to the conference, pro-gay activists had petitioned the US Secretary of State to stop Mr Bahati from attending the conference, referring to his Bill that has drawn worldwide criticism.

The conference spokesperson, Mr Doug Hadden, was quoted on Lez Get Real website, saying “There was a frank but calm discussion and Mr Bahati was not able to enter the building.”

Mr Bahati told Daily Monitor yesterday that organisers had shown a “high level of intolerance” that is “inconsistent with American values”.

MP hits back
“But the resolve to defend the future of children and pursuit of this wonderful piece of legislation is intact,” he said.
“This conference is not about gays. It has nothing to do with homosexuals but I don’t know why I was denied entry,” said Mr Bahati. “My colleagues wanted to boycott the conference but we later agreed that they should go ahead and attend and we petition the State Department because we can’t stand this kind of discrimination.”

The other MPs attending the conference are Ms Grace Kyomugisha (UPDF), Mr Gaud Kabondo (Bunyaruguru), Mr William Nsubuga (Buvuma) and Sarah Nyombi (Ntejeru North).

The Uganda delegation later met the Deputy Assistant of Secretary of State Bureau of African Affairs, Ms Karl Wycoff, and raised the matter.

Parliament’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Jotham Taremwa described the incident as unfortunate.

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