KAMPALA, Uganda -- A special committee organized by the president of Uganda has recommended that a harsh antihomosexuality bill that has drawn the ire of Western governments be withdrawn from Parliament, a senior government official said Saturday.
Adolf Mwesige, a lawmaker and chairman of the special committee, said that virtually all clauses in the legislation were either unconstitutional or redundant, and that any other clauses should be placed in another bill dealing generally with sexual offenses.
“Ninety-nine percent of all the proposals in the Bahati bill have been done before,” Mr. Mwesige said. “If we proceeded, it would definitely provoke criticism, and rightly so.”
The antihomosexuality bill, also known as the Bahati bill after David Bahati, the lawmaker who proposed it last year, has been widely criticized by human rights groups and foreign governments. It calls for homosexuals to be executed in some cases. It also says that homosexuals should be extradited and that people in Uganda must report anybody known to have committed a homosexual act within 24 hours. The bill found backing from a number of Uganda’s influential evangelical pastors, some of whom have been supported and partially financed by American churches.
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