Making some offenses punishable by death and imposing sentences of up to 20 years in prison for anyone who identify as LGBTQ+.
The new law represents a further crackdown on LGBTQ+ persons in a nation where same-sex relationships were previously forbidden and subject to a life sentence in jail.
It prohibits a variety of actions, such as encouraging homosexual behavior and conspiring to engage in it, according to reports.
The bill states that cases involving “aggravated homosexuality”—a broad term used in the legislation to describe sex acts carried out against minors, people with physical or mental disabilities, by “serial offenders,” or involving incest—can result in the death penalty being applied.
“A person who commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality and is liable, on conviction to suffer death,” read the amendments, which were presented by the chairperson for legal and parliamentary affairs Robina Rwakoojo.
Opposition lawmaker Asuman Basalirwa introduced the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2023 to parliament, saying it aims to “protect our church culture; the legal, religious and traditional family values of Ugandans from the acts that are likely to promote sexual promiscuity in this country.”
“The objective of the bill was to establish a comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect traditional family values, our diverse culture, our faiths, by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex and the promotion or recognition of sexual relations between persons of the same sex,” Basalirwa said on Tuesday.
The law, according to legislator Fox Odoi-Oywelowo, “contravenes established international and regional human rights standards” and “unfairly limits the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ persons,” she said in a statement.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), an NGO that defends human rights, issued a warning about the law earlier this month.
“One of the most extreme features of this new bill is that it criminalizes people simply for being who they are as well as further infringing on the rights to privacy, and freedoms of expression and association that are already compromised in Uganda,” HRW Uganda researcher Oryem Nyeko said in a statement that called on politicians in the country to “stop targeting LGBT people for political capital.”
Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, is anticipated to sign the legislation at some point. Last Friday, Museveni referred to homosexuals as “deviants.”
The country of East Africa, which is extremely conservative and religious, has a deeply ingrained anti-LGBTQ+ mindset.
2009 saw the introduction of a controversial anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda that featured the death penalty for homosexual acts.
The death sentence provision was removed from a bill that the nation’s lawmakers voted in favor of a proposal for life in prison.
Ultimately, that rule was overturned.
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