National

Cabinet wants gays Bill dropped

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By Sheila Naturinda

Posted  Wednesday, April 13   2011 at  00:00
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A Cabinet sub-committee formed to study the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2010 and report back to Cabinet, yesterday added a spin into the Bill and called for its withdrawal.

In a closed-door meeting with Mr David Bahati, the mover of the Bill, the sub-committee said some of the penalties proposed in the Bill could be catered for by the Penal Code Act and the yet-to-come Sexual Offences Bill.

Sources, who attended the meeting, said the sub-committee, chaired by First Deputy Premier Eriya Kategaya, suggested that if Mr Bahati did not mind a lot, he could withdraw the Bill. “They said Cabinet doesn’t agree with the death penalty which the Bill proposes,” a source, who cannot be named because they are not authorised to speak on behalf of Cabinet, said. “They asked Bahati to drop the Bill if he doesn’t care much.”

Sources also said Mr Bahati went with Commissioners Denis Obua and Justine Lumumba and MPs Beatrice Lagada, Wilfred Niwagaba and Fred Nkaayi. Mr Bahati acknowledged meeting the subcommittee but refuted claims that he had been asked to withdraw the Bill. “The meeting was purposed to build a win-win situation so that we improve on the Bill but we continue upholding the values of our country.”

Early last year after meeting Cabinet over the Bill, Mr Bahati said he was willing to amend the proposed law but “without putting the values of the country at risk”. The sub-committee was set up by President Museveni after pressure from the US and other countries in Europe to drop the Bill.