Two and a half years after Constitutional Court quashed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2014, Members of Parliament have demanded for its return.
The Bill was passed on 20 December 2013 before it was signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni on 24 February 2014. On 1 August 2014, however, Constitutional Court ruled the Act invalid on procedural grounds.
However, on Wednesday, MPs demanded for immediate re-tabling of the Bill while debating a motion of resolution of Parliament to commend Speaker Rebecca Kadaga for upholding and protecting Uganda’s cultural values against same sex marriages at the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly last month. During the IPU sitting, Kadaga blasted President of the IPU Gabriella Barroza for allegedly smuggling the homosexuality motion on the Order Paper without the consent of both Asian and African representatives.
“We are proud of you [Kadaga] and we thank you for being an icon of firmness in protecting our culture. Our friends in the international community must know that even the poor have their dignity; they think that because we are poor we swallow up everything they bring to us. Speaker I once again want to appeal to our people that we should say no to those bad practices and values that are not Ugandan. We must be able to stand up like my colleagues are saying, that bill should come back and we pass it because we have to stand firm for who we are,” Mitooma Woman MP Jovah Kamateeka said.
Soroti Municipality MP Hebert Ariko said that he and other colleagues are ready to re-table the Bill considering that its mover, David Bahati has been taken up by ministerial duties.
“Madam Speaker, you surely stood your grounds and we need people like you because you defined exceptional leadership. I propose that the bill or act that was nullified needs to be returned and must become one of the urgent agenda of this House. Section 145 of Penal Code Act prohibits unnatural acts of sex. But this is insufficiency we need a law that abates the promotion and financing of homosexual activities,” Ariko said.
Bufumbira East MP Nsaba Buturo, the mover of the motion to commend the Speaker, said that Speaker took a firm decision to vehemently object to the unfair action of tabling homosexuality on the agenda of the 138th IPU Assembly and criticized the IPU President for not consulting Africa and Asia on such a divisive matter, contrary to the ideals of the IPU.
“We appreciate the brave struggle by the Rt. Hon. Speaker in defending policies and principles that shape the future direction of this great nation, and above all, uphold the rights and ideals fitting into our society, and the Constitution,” Buturo said in his motion.