Just days after announcing that he will sign Uganda's notorious "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," President Yoweri Museveni is backing an additional measure that would deny bail to accused rapists and homosexuals. The proposal is an amendment to the Ugandan constitution.
The Independent reports:
The MPs who agreed to the new proposals on Feb. 13 during the ongoing NRM party retreat tasked the justice ministry to speed up the process of amending the constitution. Museveni has always maintained that giving bail to these suspects encourages crime in the country. Interestingly though, corruption is not part of the list of targeted offences and these suspects will still be able to get bail.
According to sources in Kyankwanzi, homosexuality offenders were included on the list at the behest of MPs who told Museveni that it has become such an insidious problem in the country.
A spokeswoman for Uganda's ruling NRM Caucus told the Daily Monitor that the proposal is "overwhelmingly supported."
Uganda's Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, robustly defended the country's anti-LGBT crackdown in an interview released today. Details, after the jump.
Speaking with Agence France-Presse, Lokodo compared homosexuality to drug addiction and said that Uganda is a country that "tolerates" gays -- because they don't slaughter them. Via Pink News:
"We are tolerant. That's what we are saying: we are not slaughtering them," he said in the video posted to the Independent's website. Of the estimated half a million gay Ugandans, he went on: "They can come and be helped to come out of this unfortunate situation... It's like a drug addict. Drug addiction is not an innate situation, it is acquired. But they can be transformed and become better."
"So we are saying anybody found committing this incredible and abominable act should be checked and isolated from society." Concluding, he said: "If you are found practicing it, we shall take you to a cell."
For those of you wondering about American aid to Uganda, the State Department says the U.S. is Uganda's "largest bilateral donor."
In other Uganda news, President Museveni signed the Anti-Pornography Bill, a measure championed by Lokodo, into law today. Among other things, this new law makes wearing a miniskirt a crime punishable by fines or jail. It also bans any celebrities wearing such clothing from Ugandan television, because as Lokodo says, "television should not broadcast a sexy person." The move effectively bans all foreign television from Uganda.
New Vision reports:
Henceforth, women have been forbidden from wearing clothes like miniskirts and cleavage-revealing blouses ('tops') that excite sexual cravings in public, unless for educational and medical purposes or during sports or cultural events...
According to the law, pornography means "any representation through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent show, information technology or by whatever means, of a person engaged in real or stimulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primary sexual excitement."
Minister Lokodo also identified sex tease shows commonly known as bimansulo, videos or photos depicting child sex, and musicians, especially female artistes, who perform in very revealing short dresses, as the other banned acts. "We do not like you to behave in a way that draws the attention of other people. Be decent and let your cloth show you as a decent person," Lokodo said.
Asked to draw precise indecency lines, the minister said: "If you are dressed in something that irritates the mind and excites other people especially of the opposite sex, you are dressed in wrong attire and please hurry up and change".
The law also forbids the publication of photographs of couples kissing.
When a reporter asked Lokodo (left) about the possibility of Uganda losing foreign aid over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and the Anti-Pornography Law, he defiantly stated that Ugandans would rather die poor than be "immoral":
Lokodo said: "We shall not care losing the financial support from our partners if only we are left alone," saying Ugandans would rather "die poor than live in an immoral nation."
"For donors to say they will not give us aid because of the anti-homosexuality bill and the anti-porno law, that is blackmail and unacceptable, they can rather stay with their aid," the minister said.
"If tomorrow, the president signs the anti-homosexuality bill and the outside world say they are not coming to Uganda, let them remain there, we don't care."
Lokodo made international headlines last June when he sat down with English actor, author, and comedian Stephen Fry and told him that gay sex is wrong, but men raping girls is "natural" -- "the right kind of child rape."
Mr. Lokodo is a former Catholic priest who was defrocked by the Vatican for violating the canon law which prohibits priests from holding political office.
h/t: Joe. My. God.