Ugandan parliament drops bill that would jail gay people for life
"The pressure on the Ugandan government has had a big impact today, with President Museveni keeping the bill off the table – as he has for months. If not tabled this week the bill will die for good – a huge victory for human rights."
- Ricken Patel, the executive director of Avaaz
A bill calling for gay people to be imprisoned for life has been dropped by the Ugandan parliament after worldwide condemnation.
The fiercely controversial legislation, first put forward in 2009, was discussed in committee on Friday. It was due to be debated on Wednesday but was removed from the MPs' timetable.
With the current parliament about to be dissolved, the bill appears to have been put on hold indefinitely. But its future remains uncertain as today was parliament's last scheduled day in session. It is now unclear if the proposed legislation could be debated on friday or carried forward to the next session, or if the author would have to offer a new bill, which he has said he will do if needed.
John Alimadi, an MP, told the Associated Press the bill may have been dropped from the agenda because of the worldwide outcry against it.
Campaigners welcomed the development. Christopher Senyonjo, a Ugandan bishop, said: "It's good news. We wouldn't like this bill even to be debated. That will be dangerous because there is a lot of misinformation and excitement. Just with the bill being debated, anything can happen to LGBT people."