Pastors in Uganda, including a British man, have marked the New Year by demanding politicians speed up passage of the ‘kill the gays bill’.
Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill was widely expected to go before parliament before Christmas but was delayed. It further criminalizes homosexuality and even demands the death penalty for repeat ‘offenders’ among others.
Uganda’s leading newspaper, the Daily Monitor, which has a monthly readership of 1million online reported from churches and sports stadiums on preachers demanding action.
The paper said this was ‘to avert the recruitment of youngsters to adopt the same-sex behavior’ [sic].
It claims pastors warned politicians that if they bowed to international pressure to drop the bill they would lose their seats.
The Daily Monitor says there were ‘tens of thousands’ at Nakivubo Stadium in Kamapal, the Uganda, capital, for a National Prayer Day and Night – although the technical capacity of the stadium is 15,000, GSN understands.
Bishop David Kiganda, the leader of Christianity Focus Ministries, reportedly told them: ‘We ask Members of Parliament (MPs) to stop wasting time debating the bill but simply pass it to save school-going children, who are at risk of being recruited.
‘Our leaders should desist from any act that would frustrate this proposed law because it has delayed.’ said Bishop David Kiganda, the leader of Christianity Focus Ministries (CFM).
Kiganda, of Bornagain Churches, added the ‘vice’ threatened Ugandans’ morality.
The Daily Monitor also quotes a minister from the UK, Reverend Paul Schinners, praising Uganda for the bill.
He said: ‘There is no other nation world over that has such a plan and through this, Uganda is going to be blessed.’
And at a bigger stadium, Mandela National Stadium in Namboole, the leader of Born Again Federation of Uganda, Dr Joseph Sserwadda, reportedly said the anti-gay legislation was needed urgently and should top the parliamentary agenda in 2013.
Meanwhile Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, at Namirembe Cathedral, is reported as saying the Church of Uganda, would continue to push marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
Speaking with Gay Star News, Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) said the speed of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would depend on whether parliament was recalled to debate other, unrelated, urgent matters next week.
If those issues are dealt with this month, the anti-gay law will likely top the agenda when parliament resumes in February. If MPs are not recalled, other issues will have to be discussed when they go back to work next month before they can move on to the new gay laws.
The developments come as SMUG works to free a gay youth worker who was arrested and charged with ‘recruiting’ teenagers to homosexuality – a crime which doesn’t currently exist but would under the new bill.
SMUG’s offices remain closed after a break-in over Christmas which saw equipment and records stolen.
Mugisha said: ‘We are still engaged with the police to investigate and see if we can catch the culprit.’
Meanwhile a court has thrown out a prosecution against David Cecil, the producer of a play staged in Uganda which included a gay storyline.