The Speaker, Anita Among says that Parliament stands by the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 that it passed and that the institution will not be intimidated.
“Whatever we did, the legislation we did…the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that we passed was basically to assure people that we are a people-centered Parliament. We do it for the people, we are not doing it for a few people,” said Among.
The Speaker made the statement during a Service for the late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah at Parliament on Thursday, 23 March 2023. In her speech to Members and staff of Parliament who converged for prayers, Among recounted that she had received a lot of threats prior to the sitting in which Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and that the repeated calls forced her to switch off her phones.
“I get a lot of threats; ‘we are going to lose out on Aids drugs…aid is going to be cut off, tourism, export’…I said, so what?…that you are going to be blocked from going to America, do I need to go to America?” Among questioned.
She asked Members of Parliament and Ugandans to stick together, remain courageous and not allow any kind of intimidation regarding the approved piece of legislation.
“I was sent her by the people of Bukedea; I am what I am because of my people. I am not here because I want to get a donation. We are a parliament that believes in God and are going to change this country. We are not going to be intimidated,” Among added.
Her statement comes amidst calls from the international community for President Yoweri Museveni not to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
Under the private member’s Bill, Parliament approved a death penalty for the offence of aggravated homosexuality.
Those convicted of attempted aggravated homosexuality could face 14 years once convicted, the offence of homosexuality will attract 20 years in prison and attempted homosexuality, 10 years.
In a statement by the United States White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, the Bill is one of the most extreme laws targeting homosexuality in the world.
However the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Norbert Mao asked Ugandans to reject the so called moral relativism, saying that this does not exist.
“Sometimes, these so called donors, international community and those people threatening us ….don’t wish us well and are really kneeling on our oxygen pipes,” said Mao.
He encouraged MPs to be equipped with talking notes about the issue since Uganda’s decision is from a Godly point of view.
“In Cabinet, we are having some discussions and I believe the Minister of Information and National Guidance, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi should come on board as the leader in communication to prepare talking points to communicate what Uganda stands for because some of you are likely to go into hiding, biting your tongues or start apologizing…yes, it is possible when you are cornered,” Mao added.
The Minister questioned whether foreign countries can allow Uganda to introduce cultures in their countries that they do not believe in.
In December 2013, Parliament passed the first Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was tabled by Ndorwa East MP, Hon. David Bahati and assented to by President Museveni in 2014.
However, the Constitutional Court annulled the law on in August 2014 on grounds that it had been passed without the requisite quorum.