We Are Watching Parliament Over Anti-Gay Bill Says Kazimba

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Dr. Samuel Stephen Kazimba Mugalu says he wishes that he will be in the Parliament when the new Anti-homosexuality Bill is being considered. 

The Most Rev. Stephen Samuel Kazimba Mugalu on Friday joined a number of Ugandan clergies that are supporting a private Member’s Bill moved by MP, Asuman Basalirwa.

Dr. Stephen Kazimba Mugalu told mourners at Justice Kenneth Kakuru’s thanksgiving that he will particularly be keen to see how Anglican Members of Parliament vote on the Bill.

He fears that some could choose to take money (bribed) in order to vote against the Bill that was tabled just weeks after he wrote to the Church of England questioning some of its decisions most especially allowing clergy to preside at Blessings of Same-sex Unions and have approved supplemental prayers and liturgies for such occasions.

In a letter to the Church of England, Dr. Kazimba Mugalu accused it of having “departed from the Anglican faith and are now false teachers” We fear Jesus’ words for them, “If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Rev 2.5b) It’s that serious” reads part of the letter.

There have been counter-accusations that sections of groups are funding Members of Parliament to push for or against controversial legislation like the one at hand. Dr. Kazimba Mugalu expressed the same fears.

The constitutional court in 2014 invalidated the Anti-Homosexuality Act then moved by Ndorwa MP, David Bahati. The Judges found that Parliament violated its own procedural rules when it passed it without the requisite quorum.

Now, Dr. Kazimba Mugalu in a message to the Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, and a number of judges said in the event that the current Bill is passed and challenged, the court should not cancel it.

The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among while referring Basalirwa’s Bill to the Committee on Legal Affairs, asked interested parties to submit their view on the Bill.

“We don’t want technicalities of saying there was no quorum. This is the time you are going to show us whether you are a homo or you are not. Let the public come and express their views. Including the homos” Said Among.

The Gay and Lesbian Marriage issue is like to come up at The Fourth Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) to be in Kigali Rwanda, in April 2023.

The Church of Uganda has more than 200 members that are likely to attend the conference but sections of the clergies want Uganda to boycott it because of the latest development at the Church Of England. In Uganda, the renewed interest in a new law comes amidst fear that with the opening of schools, some “well-funded Gay” organizations that are recruiting children into homosexuality.

Meanwhile, Rev. Can. Dr. Rebecca Nyegenye , the Provost of All Saints Cathedral Kampala blamed corruption, confusion and homosexuality on those that accept them. 

On March 9, 2023, Asuman Basalirwa, a member of parliament, introduced the 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Parliament.

Human Rights Watch on Friday issued a statement from its Nairobi offices saying the bill is a revised and what it described as a “more egregious” version of the 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act, which reinforced existing prison sentences for same-sex conduct and outlawed the “promotion of homosexuality,”

“One of the most extreme features of this new bill is that it criminalizes people simply for being who they are as well as further infringing on the rights to privacy, and freedoms of expression and association that are already compromised in Uganda,” said Oryem Nyeko,  Uganda researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch observes that like its predecessor, the 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill expands on the criminalization of same sex acts, including broad prohibitions on acts such as touching another person “with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.” People found guilty of the “offense of homosexuality” may be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

The introduction of the 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill is not the first time Parliament has attempted to recriminalize homosexuality since the 2014 Act was struck down.

In 2021, Parliament approved the Sexual Offenses Bill, which criminalized any “sexual act between persons of the same gender,” as well as anal sex between people of any gender, with up to 10 years in prison.

On August 3, 2021, President Yoweri Museveni rejected the Sexual Offenses Bill and returned it to Parliament, stating that it covered offenses already provided for in the Penal Code.

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