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Friday 29 August  

Uganda parliament shelves anti-gay bill

Published on 13 May 2011 - 1:35pm
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Uganda's parliament adjourned on Friday, effectively shelving an anti-gay bill introducing the death penalty for some homosexual acts, officials and activists said.

"I am adjourning this house ....," speaker Edward Ssekandi told parliament.

Lawmakers and gay rights activists said that meant the bill had been effectively killed off for this parliament as Friday was the last day for parliamentary debates.

The bill has drawn widespread condemnation, notably from the United States, which has qualified it as "odious"

David Bahati, the lawmaker behind the anti-gay bill, said that as the cabinet was dissolved following the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni for a fourth term on Thursday no bills could be passed.

"Right now I would say that I am almost sure that the bill is not coming," Frank Mugisha, executive director of the rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda said.

Ssekandi said he reserved the right to reconvene parliament in case of an emergency, but another rights group, Avaaz, welcomed the news of the decision to "drop" the legislation from parliamentary discussions.

© ANP/AFP
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