November 12, 2012
Uganda Bill That Proposed Death Penalty for (Some) Gays Expected to Pass
2009 proposal was blamed on American evangelicals; Ugandan Christians dismissed charge as cultural imperialism.
A controversial Ugandan bill that strengthens criminal penalties against homosexuality—and originally, in some cases, invoked the death penalty—will soon be put to a vote and is expected to pass.
The bill, first proposed in 2009, has been widely attributed to the influence of American evangelicals; however, CT has reported how American evangelical leaders condemned the bill but Ugandan Christian leaders dismissed this as cultural imperialism.
According to the Associated Press, the speaker for Uganda's parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, says lawmakers will soon vote on the proposed legislation—and she expects the bill to become law before the end of the year.
The bill, first introduced in 2009 by parliament member David Bahati, would expand penalties for homosexuality to include life imprisonment or, in some cases, the death penalty.
CT previously reported how the proposed anti-homosexuality bill, which was one of CT's Top 10 News Stories of 2010, divided American and Ugandan Christian leaders, with American leaders largely condemning the bill and Ugandan leaders largely supporting it. CT also noted in an editorial how the bill was making cross-cultural relations more complex than ever.
At the time, Christopher Byaruhanga, professor of historical theology at Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology at Uganda Christian University, said the reaction from American Christians was creating tension for Ugandan Christians.
"You see there's a kind of imperialism and a kind of relativism from the West," said Byaruhanga. "They don't understand our ethics in the country of Uganda and they are trying to impose what they believe."