Ugandan government will not impose death penalty on homosexuality after all

The Ugandan government is not planning to impose the death penalty for gay sex, despite a proposal by the Ethics and Integrity Minister last week. A spokesperson for the president now denies any of these intentions. “I don’t know where he got this idea from,” the spokesperson told news agency Reuters .
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The spokesperson’s statements comes after international donors such as the European Union, World Bank, the United States said they were monitoring the situation closely. The spokesperson couldn’t tell Reuters why the minister plead in favour of the law last week.

According to the spokesperson, the current law on gay sex is enough. “We have the penal code that already handles issues of unnatural sexual behavior so there is no law coming up,” he said. Homosexuality is currently punishable with life imprisonment and there is a great social taboo on it. Last week, a gay rights activist was killed in his own home.

If the change of heart has something to do with the aid donors’ concerns, is difficult to confirm. The Ethics and Integrity Minister said last week that he thought the current laws were not far-reaching enough: “We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalised. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence.” He also warned for “a massive recruitment by gay people in schools”.

Uganda already tried to implement the law, colloquially known as "Kill the Gays", five years ago. Then, it was nullified on a technicality.

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