Uganda Prepares To Pass New Anti-Gay Law As “Christmas Gift” To The Country

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni

Calling the law a “Christmas gift” for the country, Ugandan legislators are set to pass a new version of the country’s recently struck down anti-gay law:

Drafters of a revised anti-gay law want parliament to pass it in time to be a “Christmas gift” for Ugandans, a lawmaker said on Friday, after a controversial earlier version was quashed because of legal technicalities.

Legislation passed by parliament almost a year ago, which would have punished gay sex with long prison terms, provoked a storm of international protest and led some donor countries to withhold aid. A constitutional court overturned the law in August.

Abdu Latif Ssebagala, a member of a parliamentary committee formed in September to draft a new version, said it had finished the bill and was ready to present it to parliament for debate.

In August, President Yoweri Museveni said he wanted the law amended to remove penalties for consenting adults. Ssebagala said however the new version still punished gay sex among consenting adults.

In October the president wrote in a newspaper that re-introducing the law risked triggering a trade boycott by the West.