MPs to re-table anti-gay Bill today

Bubulo East MP John Musila displays his attire with anti-gay inscriptions during the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023, at Parliament on March 21. PHOTO/DAVID LUBOWA

What you need to know:

The Clerk to Parliament has already written to all Members of Parliament, summoning them to show up for a plenary sitting today and reconsider the anti-gay Bill.

Parliament will today retable Anti-Homosexuality Bill for consideration after it was returned by President Museveni to review it.

In the April 26 notice, the Clerk to Parliament wrote to all Members of Parliament (MPs), summoning them for a plenary sitting today and reconsider the anti-gay Bill.

“I have been directed by the Rt Hon Speaker to inform you (MPs) that there will be a plenary sitting on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at 10am to reconsider the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023,” the Clerk to Parliament’s statement read in part.

Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, the chairperson of the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ms Robinah Rwakoojo, said after the President raised concerns about certain clauses in the Bill, they have since discussed the same and come up with a report ready for tabling before the full House today.

Mr Asuman Basalirwa, the mover of the Bill said the report is ready.  He noted that the issues the President raised are not very substantial to deviate from the core substance of the Bill.

“The issues that the President returned are not very substantial, they are things that can be reconciled,” Mr Basalirwa said.

President Museveni returned the Bill after meetings with legislators in NRM Caucus and the Legal committee, where they reached a harmonised position.

Among others, Mr Museveni wants Parliament to penalise the act of homosexuality and not individuals who identify as homosexuals. He also wants them to drop the mandate for any individual to report acts of homosexuality.

The President also proposed that the law incorporates aspects of rehabilitation for those unwillingly recruited, or who want to reform. 

On March 21, the Parliament overwhelmingly passed the Ant-Homosexual Bill, 2023, that the proponents said is aimed at prohibiting same-sex relations, strengthening Uganda’s capacity to deal with domestic and foreign threats to the heterosexual family, safeguarding traditional and cultural values and protecting youth or children against gay and lesbian practices.