An Anti-Gay Smokescreen In Uganda

Uganda's barbaric anti-gay bill is back. Nora Caplan-Bricker helpfully decodes Ugandan politics:

Gay rights activist Frank Mugisha told me the bill naturally monopolizes attention at home and abroad, and speculated on Twitter that it may come up for discussion sooner rather than later to distract from two oil bills that are dividing parliamentarians. Many lawmakers believe the petroleum legislation proposed would give Museveni’s oil minister too much free rein, and the legislative body shut down for part of last week after arguments about the oil bills became shouting matches and the speaker stormed out. The anti-gay bill is next on the schedule after the oil bills, and given its vast popularity, it could be a good way to smooth tensions and give parliament something to agree on after a series of contentious sessions. And, if the oil bills pass, the anti-gay bill could divert constituents’ attention from the suspect amount of power they would give Museveni’s cabinet—yet again, good cover for government corruption. With the anti-gay bill on the table, Mugisha says, “people forget about all the other issues, including the oil bill.”

Box Turtle Bulletin has extensive coverage of the anti-gay bill.