Hon Anita Among the Speaker of Parliament, has assured a comprehensive debate on the new Anti- Homosexual Bill 2023, in which all stakeholders and members of the LGBTQ community will be allowed to share their ideas.

The bill was tabled by Hon Asuman Basalirwa of JEEMA party on Thursday afternoon, along with its Certificate of Financial Implication which was delivered by Minister of Finance Hon Matia Kasaija before Parliament.

Hon Asuman Basalirwa

The present legislators at the time listened to the bill’s first reading before it was sent by the Speaker to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

While addressing the house, Speaker Among said the public including members of the LGBTQ community will be allowed to come to the house to give their views on the bill.

“We are inviting everyone including homos; allow them to come… MPs, religious leaders, all of them. We don’t want a scenario of people saying we were not heard,” she noted.

The new bill proposes penalties ranging from 2 to 10 years imprisonment for acts of homosexuality, aggravated homosexuality, attempted homosexuality, aiding and abetting and conspiracy to commit acts of homosexuality and related practices.

The bill further provides for protection, assistance and compensation for victims of homosexuality as well as penalties for publicizing and revealing the identities of victims without their consent.

Hon. Basalirwa while laying the bill, proposed for all members of parliament to be compelled to make video statements to the public, stating whether or not they support the bill.

Basalirwa also expressed concern about the government being under “immense pressure” from abroad over the proposed law. In response, however, Government Chief Whip Hon Hamson Obua said neither government nor parliament was under any form of pressure.

“I want to state that the leadership of the government of Uganda under President Yoweri Museveni is not under any pressure. I want to state also, that even the leadership of parliament under Speaker Anita Among who is here in person, is not under any pressure,” Obua said.

“The laws we make here are constitutional and we make them for the peace, stability and good governance of Uganda.”

Speaker Anita Among also said that she was determined to avoid another situation where the new bill once passed, is challenged in court as it was with the 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was struck down by the Constitutional Court because it was passed without quorum.

As such, Hon Among said voting on the bill will done by tallying each member of the house.

“We don’t want technicalities of no quorum; this is time you will show us whether you are a homo or not,” she noted.

source: mizzima news

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