Ugandan President Says “Kill the Gays” Bill Isn’t Returning

An official had claimed it would soon be reintroduced and was expected to pass.

A spokesperson for Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has said the country has no intention of bringing back a bill that would impose the death penalty for homosexuality.

Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said last week the government planned to reintroduce the legislation, colloquially known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, which was nullified five years ago on a technicality and then abandoned due to international pressure. He said this time around it would be even more severe, extending to also punish those “involved in promotion and recruitment” of homosexuality. Gay sex is punishable by imprisonment in the east African nation.

Ugandan gay man
ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty Images

The reports resulted in the European Union, the World Bank, the United States, and the Global Fund all saying they were monitoring the situation and would stand by the rights of LGBTQ people. On Saturday, Uganda Media Center spokesperson Ofwono Opondo issued a tweet denying there were plans to reintroduce the legislation, which Lokodo had said was supported by Museveni and was expected to pass due to a majority of MPs being in favor of it as well.

“There are no plans by the government to introduce a law like that,” Don Wanyama, President Museveni’s senior press secretary told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“We have the penal code that already handles issues of unnatural sexual behavior so there is no law coming up.”

When asked why Lokodo would make such a statement, Wanyama said: “Ask him. I don’t know where he got this idea from. There is no plan by government to introduce a law of that nature.”

Lokodo did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters or NewNowNext. This article will be updated if he responds.

Earlier this year, Brunei announced it would impose the death penalty for homosexuality but then abandoned that plan following international outcry and boycotts.

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