Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati, who proposed legislation in his country that would impose the death penalty for gays and lesbians, obtained a visa to attend the International Consortium of Governmental Financial Management Conference, and is now in the United States.
The bill, which Bahati proposed in September, says anyone convicted of a homosexual act – which includes touching someone of the same sex with the intent of committing a homosexual act – could face life imprisonment. Current Ugandan legislation imposes seven years’ imprisonment. Under the new law, the death sentence could apply to sexually active gays living with HIV.
The measure was proposed in Uganda following a visit by leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy for gays to become heterosexual. Some American supporters include:
-Pastor Rick Warren, who famously “refused to take sides” on the issue of the death penalty for gays.
-Scott Lively – the president of the “Abiding Truth Ministries”, a conservative Christian organization that promotes conservative family values.
-Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-professed former gay man who conducts sessions to heal homosexuality.
-Don Schmierer, board member of Exodus International, an organization devoted to promoting “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ”.
Thirty-eight African nations criminalize homosexuality. Like the conditions in many other African nations, gay men and women in Uganda are forced to live in an atmosphere of physical violence, vandalism to their property, blackmail, death threats, and “correctional rape”.