Tuesday, the Ugandan parliament approved a bill that makes it unlawful to identify as a member of the LGTBQ community. This puts Uganda several steps ahead of its neighbours on the African continent, which also forbid same-sex unions and weddings.
President Yoweri Museveni will now receive the Bill and have the option to sign it into law or veto it. In a recent address, he implied that he was in favour of the Bill. He further charged that certain Western countries were “trying to impose their practices on other people.”
If the proposed law is approved, it will be the first to make it illegal to simply identify as a member of the LGBTQ community. Said the civil rights organization Human Rights Watch. The legislation forbids both “conspiracy to engage in homosexuality” and “promoting and abetting” homosexual activity in addition to same-sex relationships.
Punishments for being part of the LGBTQ community:
Supporters of the new law argue that it is necessary to criminalize a wider range of LGBTQ acts in order to protect the country’s traditional values. The same are conservative and religious.
The law imposes harsh punishments for violations, such as the death penalty for ‘aggravated’ homosexuality. It also includes and life in jail for gay sex. According to the legislation, aggravated homosexuality includes, among other things, having gay intercourse with minors. It also includes when the offender has HIV.
Countries react to the Uganda law:
The bill that makes same-sex between consenting adults illegal has been dubbed “appalling,” “ambiguous,” and “vaguely worded” by Amnesty International.
Amnesty International’s director for East and Southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah, stated that the “deeply repressive legislation” would “institutionalize discrimination, hatred, and prejudice against LGBTI people – including those who are perceived to be LGBTI”. It would obstruct the legitimate work of community leaders, public health experts, and members of civil society.
Additionally, it has been criticized by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Minister for Africa Andrew Mitchell. Uganda has been cautioned by the White House of potential economic consequences if the new law is implemented.
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