After an unprecedented global backlash that saw nearly two million people sign a petition, a bill in Uganda which would have seen people executed for having same-sex relationships was dropped from the country’s Parliamentary agenda and expired.
The bill was believed to have been abandoned earlier this year after drawing criticism by world leaders including US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
However, in the dying days of parliament the bill was endorsed by a committee with the death penalty clause intact.
In the final 72 hours of the parliamentary session, online global activist group Avaaz collected more than 1.6 million signatures against the bill.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague, the US State Department, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and the head of the global Anglican Communion, Rowan Williams had all criticised the bill.
Uganda is currently in a state of political unrest. President Yoweri Museveni has just been sworn in for his fourth term after 25 years in power, following a disputed election. Some commentators have suggested the anti-homosexuality bill may have been brought back to distract the country’s attention from a government crackdown on mass protests over high food and petrol prices.