Uganda is considering a new law that would impose the death penalty for some gays and sentence family members to up to seven years in jail if they fail to report gay relatives to authorities. The law would even jail landlords for accepting gays as tenants.
Even landlords could be imprisoned for renting to gay tenants. The law focuses on homosexuals living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape. “Serial offenders” also could face capital punishment, but the legislation does not define the term. Anyone convicted of a homosexual act faces life imprisonment.
The law says that “anyone who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage of acts of homosexuality” faces seven years in prison if convicted. Landlords who rent rooms or homes to homosexuals also could get seven years and anyone with “religious, political, economic or social authority” who fails to report anyone violating the act faces three years.
Critics are pointing to U.S. evangelicals for encouraging a crackdown. The law was proposed after a conference with U.S. religious leaders on how to combat homosexuality. While they did not advocate criminal penalties, they were seen as prodding the government to be active in the deterrence of homosexuality.
Uganda’s ethics minister, James Nsaba Buturo, said the law was necessary to counter foreign influence because homosexuality “is not natural in Uganda.”
In Nigeria, homosexuality is already punishable by death and it is illegal in Burundi and Kenya.
The Americans included author Don Schmierer, “sexual reorientation coach” Caleb Lee Brundidge, and Scott Lively, preacher and author of “The Pink Swastika.” Lively insists that he wanted the Ugandans to “discourage” homosexuality not execute homosexuals. However, he stressed that “[s]ociety should actively discourage all sex outside of marriage and that includes homosexuality … The family is under threat . . . [with gays] parading around the streets.” Well, they will be safely buried under ground in Uganda, Mr. Lively.
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