Uganda has passed a stricter anti-LGBTQ law that means offenders can be jailed for up to ten years. The law also makes room for people in some cases to be given death penalty. It is one of the toughest crackdown on homosexuality in Africa.
Same-sex relations are banned in about 30 African countries, where many people uphold conservative religious and social values. The new law has been condemned by the international community including the United States, the UK and other European nations.
US secretary of state said in a statement that “The Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the Ugandan Parliament yesterday would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation.”
The Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the Ugandan Parliament yesterday would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 22, 2023
But what does the bill now passed into law say?
- A person who is convicted of grooming or trafficking children for purposes of engaging them in homosexual activities faces life in prison.
- Individuals or institutions which support or fund LGBT rights’ activities or organisations, or publish, broadcast and distribute pro-gay media material and literature, also face prosecution and imprisonment.
- Media groups, journalists and publishers face prosecution and imprisonment for publishing, broadcasting, distribution of any content that advocates for gay rights or “promotes homosexuality”.
- Death penalty for what is described as “aggravated homosexuality”, that is sexual abuse of a child, a person with disability or vulnerable people, or in cases where a victim of homosexual assault is infected with a life-long illness.
- Property owners also face risk of being jailed if their premises are used as a “brothel” for homosexual acts or any other sexual minorities rights’ activities.
The Bill will now await President Yoweri Museveni’s consent, but rights activists say the latest move by Uganda would spark anger and hatred further for the LGBTQ community. Homophobia is already rife in Uganda, where President Yoweri Museveni has described homosexuals as “disgusting”.
“We have been telling them [the West] that please this problem of homosexuality is not something that we should normalize and celebrate,” Museveni said.
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