Ugandan Government spokesperson: No new ‘kill the gays’ law

Uganda spokesperson Ofwono Opondo kill the gays death penalty bill
Photo: Uganda Government

A Ugandan government spokesperson tweeted Saturday that the government would not introduce a “kill the gays” law to parliament.

Last week the Ugandan Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo said the government intended to resurrect the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act. That bill, known colloquially as the ‘Kill the gays’ bill, threatened people convicted of homosexuality with the death penalty.

Although the bill passed in 2009, the Constitutional Court later annulled it because the parliament lacked a quorum at the time of the vote. The bill was never subsequently reintroduced.

Ugandan government minister Simon Lokodo

Simon Lokodo, the minister who announced last week the government would reintroduce the bill, is a former Catholic priest. Lokodo is also renowned for homophobia.

He said that the reintroduced bill would also target the promotion of homosexuality. He claimed the “massive recruitment by gay people in schools” motivated the reintroduction.

“The penal code only criminalizes the act [gay sex]. …Now we’re saying anything, like recruitment, promotion, exhibition…amounts to committing a crime against that law.”

Ugandan government denial

On Saturday, government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo tweeted to deny media reports of a reintroduced bill.

“STOP PRESS LGBT Bill: Government hereby clarifies that it does not intend to introduce any new law with regards to the regulation of #LGBT activities in Uganda because the current provisions in the #PenalCode are sufficient.”

Uganda’s Daily Monitor said attempts to contact Simon Lokodo failed with his phone going unanswered.

A spokesperson for the opposition Forum for Democratic Change said the government risked too much by a reintroduction of the bill. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said the bill would threaten western aid.

Although Uganda retains the death penalty, the last execution in the country occurred in 2005.

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