By Catherine Apolot

Uganda Parliamentarians are part of legislators across the world who have opposed gay debate duringthe 139th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

Representatives from the pro-gay nations had moved an amendment of the IPU rules to have debate on the rights of homosexuals even after objections from mainly Muslim and African members.

The proposal moved by the IPU Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights is meant to be considered on Wednesday, October 16, 2018 during the IPU Assembly sitting but members of the committee decided to introduce amendments to rules that could make it impossible for the General Assembly to change or debate anything passed by the standing committee.

The Committee on Democracy and Human Rights chaired by B. Tshireletso (Botswana) reported that the proposal had got overwhelming support in the Committee, ‘hence the decision should be adopted without debate in the Assembly’.

This prompted the current IPU President, Gabriela Cuevas Barron to propose that members lobby and campaign in order to vote on a question whether the Assembly can change the work plan and agenda of the Standing Committees.

Members of the Uganda delegation led by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, rallied many legislators in different geopolitical groups to support the motion, which could allow the Assembly to amend many issues in the committee report that had already been adopted by a smaller group of pro-gay supporters, according to parliament.go.ug.

President Barron informed delegates that the results of the vote on the motion would be followed and no further motion will be allowed.

Following the vote, 671 MPs voted against the proposal with 120 abstaining throwing the Ugandan MPs in jubilation for their stand against any gay debate in the Assembly.

Latif Sebagala, the Kawempe North MP thanked the Speaker for lobbying other speakers to support the motion and also thanked countries that stood firm and supported the motion to allow the Assembly to amend the committee reports.

“We are very grateful to all IPU countries that have supported this; we knew about these back door plans and I informed the Parliamentary Union Islamic Conference.  We all agreed that we should fight this item,” Ssebaggala said.

Uganda delegation include MPs Rebecca Kadaga, Osoru Mourine (Arua Municipality), Sebaggala Abdulatif (Kawempe Division North) Kabagyeni Rose (Kisoro District) Anyakun Esther (Nakapiripirit District), Akamba Paul (Busiki county), Mwijukye Francis (Buhweju county).

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