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Christian hate: Ugandan law punishes homosexuality with life in prison

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Motivated by Christian bigotry, the Ugandan parliament has passed a draconian anti-gay bill that would punish homosexuality with life in prison. The bill, once known as the “kill the gays bill,” was passed late last week, according to a report issued by CNN on Dec. 21.

Before its passage, parliament adjusted the death penalty clause to life in prison for "aggravated homosexuality," which includes consensual acts where one person is infected with HIV, as well as repeated “offenses” among consenting adults. The bill also proposes years in prison for anyone who counsels or reaches out to homosexuals.

"Now anybody found practising, recruiting for or publicising homosexuality commits a felony," said Simon Lokodo, Uganda's Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity.

He added that the law provided for punishments of between two years and life behind bars.

"We will get hold of all those encouraging others to become homosexuals or lesbians. Anybody we find recruiting or using materials to promote homosexuality, we will arrest."

The Wire reports Ugandan lawmakers were largely inspired to strengthen the punishment for being gay thanks to a campaign by a handful of powerful American evangelical activists. For example, in 2009 a group of American evangelists led by anti-gay pastor Scott Lively conducted national rallies, seminars, and workshops demonizing and dehumanizing homosexuals. The seminars made false and inflammatory claims about gay men sodomizing teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” intended to “defeat the marriage-based society.”

Last November, Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, promised that the draconian anti-gay “kill the gays” bill would pass before the end of 2012, and would be a “Christmas gift” for Uganda’s Christian community.

Human rights groups are urging Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to veto the bill. To become law, it requires his signature within 30 days.

For more political news, information and humor see Left Coast Lucy on Facebook. For more news, information and humor relevant to atheists, freethinkers, and secular humanists, see Progressive Secular Humanist Examiner on Facebook. On Twitter follow Progressive Examiner.

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