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Hatred

Death Penalty for Gays in Uganda?

It may become even more dangerous to be gay in Uganda. The country is weighing proposed legislation that would punish homosexual acts with life imprisonment, imprison anyone who "aids, abets, counsels, or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality" for seven years (including landlords who rent to gays), and jail for three years anyone with "religious, political, economic, or social authority" who fails to report anyone violating the act. The legislation also mandates a death sentence in cases of same-sex rape and for active homosexuals living with AIDS, while undefined "serial offenders" would also face capital punishment. Gay-rights activists, in Uganda and abroad, say the bill promotes hatred and could hamper efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. The bill, which is still being debated, was proposed in Uganda after leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote straight therapy for homosexuals visited. At least one of those leaders has denounced the bill. International gay-rights activists are planning to protest the bill on Thursday in London; last month protests were held in New York and Washington.

December 9, 2009 5:24 AM