News Wire Services
Originally Published:Tuesday, March 2nd 2010, 1:15 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 2nd 2010, 1:15 PM
Do you view this as a Ugandan legal issue or an international human rights matter?
Kampala, Uganda — Parliament Speaker Edward Ssekandi has told critics of the anti-homosexuality bill that it won't be withdrawn.
Proposed in October, 2009, the measure would broaden the criminalization of homosexuality and introduce the death penalty for those who have previous convictions, are HIV positive or engage in homosexual sex with people younger than 18. Gay sex already is illegal in Uganda.
Ssekandi suggested those opposed to the bill present views to the parliamentary legal affairs committee.
"We shall consider your views, but we cannot withdraw the bill," Ssekandi said Monday. "It has to follow proper procedures."
Ssekandi was responding to a petition presented to Parliament by a group that described itself as AIDS service providers, spiritual mentors and counselors. It is headed by the Rev.
"We are calling on you to reject this Bill and the hatred, intolerance, self-righteousness and violence it promotes," the petition said.
The activists added that being gay was a right that needed to be respected.
Ssekandi asked: "Would you be happy if your son brought home a man or your daughter another girl for a partner?"