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Uganda's Parliament Passes Anti-Homosexuality Law

20/12/2013 11:21 GMT | Updated 19/02/2014 10:59 GMT

Uganda's parliament has just voted (Friday) on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (also known as 'Kill The Gay's' bill).

The bill aims to broaden the criminalisation of same-sex relationships by dividing homosexuality into two categories; aggravated homosexuality and the offence of homosexuality.

The version of the bill passed punishes 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment.

That is defined as gay acts committed by parents or authority figures, HIV-positive people, paedophiles and repeat offenders.

The 'offence of homosexuality' includes same-sex sexual acts or being in a gay relationship, and will be prosecuted by life imprisonment.

The bill also includes harsh penalties against people who fail to report LGBT people to Ugandan authorities.

"Ugandans have really over waited for this bill, may they have a good Christmas," said Member of Parliament (MP) Benson Obua.

MPs thanked the speaker of Rebecca Kadaga for having delivered her "Christmas gift" promise of passing the bill.

MPs ask President Yoweri Museveni to assent quickly so that it becomes law.

In the case that he would not sign it, parliament could enact it on a two-third vote.

"I am officially illegal," said after the vote, Frank Mugisha the director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).

Richard Lusimbo Research and Documentation Manager of SMUG told me "the passing of the bill has left me in shook and fear, knowing very well that this could be implanted even without being signed by the president into law.

"The president and courts of law are now the only avenues left."

Kasha Nabagesera, award wining and founder and executive director Freedom & Roam Uganda (FARUG), described the vote as "very absurd."

Several European countries have threatened to cut aid to Uganda if it passes, with the UK government warning Uganda it would face severe reductions in financial help.

US President Barack Obama has described it as 'odious', and Canadian politician John Baird has said it is 'vile, abhorrent, and offends decency'.