West Budama North East Member of Parliament, Fox Odoi the man behind the annulment of the Anti-Homosexuality law in 2014, has again sprung into action urging parliament to drop the new antigay bill currently before the Legal Affairs committee.
In a move similar to what happened in 2014, Odoi challenges the necessity and legality of the Bill saying it has been proven to be against the constitution and other international laws.
In the draft copy, the anti-homosexuality bill 2023 currently before parliament prohibits all acts of homosexuality, outlaws same sex marriages, and introduces heavy penalities on individuals and organizations for promotion of homosexuality. In its objectives, the legislation is meant to protect traditional and cultural values.
During the committee sitting today, Odoi demanded to know which family values Hon. Asuman Basalirwa the promoter of the Bill refers to, yet Uganda with more than 62 tribal groupings has no official set of values.
“The reason I ask; you are cognizant of the fact that Uganda has 62 tribal groupings and therefore you cannot talk about a concept of family values. The family values of the Japadhola to which I belong is different from from those of Basoga. Similary, the values of Catholics are not the same as those of Muslims” Fox Odoi remarked.
A lawyer by profession, Odoi argued that the bill is unnecessary because the vice of homosexuality is catered for by existing laws including the Constitution and the Penal Code Act. He contends that sex between people of the same sex and same sex marriages are illegal and prohibited under the exisiting laws.
Odoi however pick the aspect of promotion of homosexuality in Basalirwa’s Bill but also challenged Basalirwa to firsr prove with evidence who is promoting homosexuality in Uganda, where is it being promoted and how it is being promoted.
Odoi also argued that the bill cannot legislate against anal sex but leave out other forms of sex including use of mouth and use of hands. He challenged Basalirwa to prove with evidence that homosexuality is on the rise in Uganda arguing that available statistics only show a rise in heterosexual defilement instead of homosexuality.
“Hon chair, statistics in Uganda show that every 42 seconds, there is a female child defiled and that is the problem; the problem is not homosexuality. In fact, I dare say; this is a red herring. This is a diversion. The people we should be running after is me and you the heterosexuals not homosexuals” Odoi stated.
Odoi contends that the only sex type promoted openly and everywhere in Uganda is heterosexual sex and not homosexuality. “CAt birth, in churches, in schools and in every fora, heterosexual sex is promoted. I am very unconfortable that you are taking us on a wild goose chase following a problem that is not there at all” Odoi said.
He also claims the clause in the bill which aggravates the offense of homosexuality in a case the offender is HIV positive as an affront on people living with HIV since other categories of people like thise who have other diseases like Ghonorhea, Syphillis and Hepatitis are not listed for the same offense.
The anti-homosexuality bill which had West Budama North Member of Parliament, Fox Odoi has written to President Yoweri Museveni urging him to reject the antigay bill currently before him saying it has been proven to be against the constitution and other international laws.
Before Odoi’s presentation, Hon. Basalirwa stated that he intends to ammend the Anti-Homosexual Bill 2023 to introduce new penalities including life imprisonment for offenders and extradiction powers in enforcement if the offender flees to another country.