Homosexuality is widely condemned in Uganda.
Uganda gained international notoriety when the original bill—which was one time described by President Barack Obama as ‘odious’— was unveiled prompting denunciations from governments and activists across the world.
Partly due to international opposition that has seen Uganda’s donors threaten to peg aid to the gay rights, it has been on and off since 2009.
In 2010, President Museveni urged MPs to go slow on the matter following a long telephone conversation with the outgoing US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in which she reportedly told Museveni to stop harassing the gay community in Uganda.
Last year, when Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of the Uganda Parliament was in Canada to attend the 127th Inter Parliamentary Union Assembly, she was involved in a bitter exchange with the Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird, who accused Uganda of violating the rights of gay people. Kadaga hit back saying that this was an internal and sovereign matter that Uganda has a right to legislate on.
On her ‘heroic’ return to Uganda, Kadaga promised a ‘Christmas Gift’ for Ugandans by passing the bill. However, her wish did not materialize by the time Parliament closed for recess on Dec.14.
Early this month, the UK’s Buckingham University surprised students of Victoria University when it announced that it would no longer associate with the Ugandan private university and would immediately cease its role of validating some of Victoria University’s courses. Buckingham University cited Uganda’s proposed anti-gay legislation and the constraints on freedom of speech for its decision.
The debate on the bill in Parliament is expected to resume in the next session which opens on Feb. 4.