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Uganda MP pleads with president to stop anti-gay law

Uganda MP pleads with president to stop anti-gay law

A Uganda politician has sparked a glimmer of hope after he has pleaded with the president to stop the anti-gay law.

Fox Odoi, a member of parliament for West Budama North, has written to President Yoweri Museveni urging him to reject the bill.

The draconic legislation, originally known as the ‘Kill All The Gays’ bill before the death penalty was removed, will punish homosexuality with life imprisonment.

In his letter sent yesterday (13 February) and leaked to local media, Odoi has said he has consulted with legal experts and they believe the legislation is unconstitutional.

The unnamed law firm argues by regulating the behavior of gay and lesbian Ugandans while not regulating behavior of heterosexuals, it will violate article 21 of the constitution.

Article 21 ‘guarantees’ equality and freedom of discrimination.

Section 13 of the bill, which bans persons ‘promoting’ homosexuality, is also a violation of freedom of expression, conscience and association according to the legal experts.

The firm further notes, like many others, that the bill was passed last December without the required number of politicians present at the vote.

In the letter, Odoi says the president should reject the bill as it is his duty to uphold and safeguard the constitution.

Museveni recently asked scientists to decide once and for all whether homosexuality is genetic or a learned behavior, as he said it would affect his decision on whether he would make the bill law.

It is being reported in local media the president has until 23 February to veto or amend the bill into becoming law.

If he vetoes the bill, parliament can force it into becoming law without the president’s signature.

Since it was passed, Ugandans have noticed an increase in arrests of LGBTI people and mob violence even though it is not law yet. Several gay people are also reported to have committed suicide.