This is not good, Uganda.
While we were expecting to hear that the death penalty had been stripped from the anti-homosexuality bill in at least a small step in the right direction, we're hearing that that isn't the case anymore:
According to the report, MP David Bahati, author of the legislation that was first introduced in October 2009, reportedly told the committee that the death penalty could be stripped from the bill. The committee, however, decided to keep the death penalty, by rewording the provision to match the current penal code making "aggravated defilement" punishable by death.
The Ugandan Parliament's Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee will recommend the version of the Anti-Homosexuality bill that retains the death penalty for acts of "aggravated homosexuality."
The committee's report does remove some provisions, but adds criminal penalties for "conducting a marriage ceremony between persons of the same sex."
The bill has been publicly condemned by our State Department and other countries abroad. And of course, we don't support it either. Even if the harshest punishments are removed, the bill itself still remains discriminatory.
Bahati argues that everything is done with the Democratic process, so there can't be anything wrong with it.
Making people fear that their human rights could be viewed as illegal and punishable by death seems like there is everything wrong with it.
We hope there are changes coming for Uganda. They deserve to be whoever they were born to be.
Equality for all!
[Image via AP Images.]