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NRM caucus meets today over gays law

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Pro-Gay activist Kasha

Pro-Gay activist Kasha chats with a colleague during a court session that threw out the anti-gays law. File Photo 

By SOLOMON ARINAITWE & FARAHANI MUKISA

Posted  Monday, August 11   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

MPs are scheduled to convene a session today to map out a strategy on how the Bill will be re-introduced in Parliament

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PARLIAMENT.
The NRM Parliamentary Caucus will convene today to chat a way forward on the fate of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014, which was nullified by the Constitutional Court on grounds that Parliament passed it without the required quorum.

The NRM caucus meeting comes as the number of MPs in support of a drive to re-introduce the anti-gays Bill in Parliament has shot up to 208.

MPs supporting the re-tabling of the Bill will also convene a session today to map out a strategy about how the Bill will be re-introduced in Parliament.

These MPs want Parliament to put on hold the handling of the ongoing Budget process and first ensure the restoration of the anti-gays law.
There is also a request to the Speaker for the suspension of the House rules of procedure to allow the Bill to be passed without going through all the lengthy phases.

Following the nullification of the law, President Museveni promised that the NRM Parliamentary Caucus would sit and decide a course of action.

Yesterday, Ndorwa West MP and NRM deputy Chief Whip David Bahati, who tabled the Bill in 2009 as a Private Member’s initiative, confirmed that Mr Museveni would attend today’s session about the nullified law.

“We have other issues to discuss but the anti-homosexuality law may also come up. But the road to success is always under construction. We shall not get tired of defending the future of our children,” Mr Bahati said, declining to give more details.

Kawempe North MP Latif Sebaggala, the brainchild of the drive to collect signatures, said they want to swiftly pursue the process of restoring the law because an appeal in court would drag on.

The court’s action to nullify a law whose supporters argue is essential in the protection of Uganda’s cultural and family values continues triggering a backlash from MPs and religious leaders.

Religious leaders speak
Religious leaders urged MPs not to buckle under the pressure of Western countries that have opposed the law on grounds that it offends human rights and reacted by cutting aid when it was passed in February.

Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga said homosexual acts violate the Constitution and compromise human dignity.
“Homosexuality acts breach the Constitution of Uganda...,” Bishop Lwanga said on Saturday.

However, Pastor Solomon Male of the Arise for Christ Ministry, said: “MPs need to drop the anti-gay law and sensitise the public about the laws in the Penal Code. ”