May 17, 2011
A bill that would impose the death penalty for homosexual acts under certain circumstances has been shelved by Parliament, whose last business day of the current session was Friday. Supporters and opponents alike, however, expect the measure to resurface in the next session. The United States, which last year supplied $526 million in development aid to Uganda, has firmly opposed the legislation. "No amendments, no changes would justify passage of this odious bill," said Mark Toner, a US State Department spokesperson. In addition to punishing persons for homosexual behavior, the bill would outlaw discussing homosexuality in public or renting to homosexuals, and it would require other citizens to report gay people to the police. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, punishable by life in prison in some cases.