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MP’s in Uganda Pass Bill Imposing Death Penalty for Homosexuality

The Parliament in Uganda has passed an extremely controversial bill that goes against the LGBTQ community and makes homosexual acts punishable by death. It also includes a ban on promoting and abetting homosexuality as well as “conspiracy to engage in homosexuality.”

This is one of the harshest anti-gay laws in a country where same-sex relations are already dangerous. Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda, but now new criminal offenses are being introduced.

It introduces life imprisonment sentences for gay sex, same-sex relationships, and “recruitment, promotion and funding” of same-sex activities. It makes it illegal to even identify as LGBT. And according to the bill, the death penalty can be invoked for cases involving “aggravated homosexuality”:

“A person who commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality and is liable, on conviction, to suffer death”

Out of 389 legislators, just 2 MPs from the ruling party opposed the new legislation; Paul Kwizera Bucyana and Fox Odoi-Oywelowo, who expressed that “the bill is ill-conceived, it contains provisions that are unconstitutional, reverses the gains registered in the fight against gender-based violence and criminalizes individuals instead of conduct that contravenes all known legal norms.”

Asuman Basalirwa, who introduced the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2023, says 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.”

One MP in the chamber, John Musila, even wore a white gown with black words reading: “Say No To Homosexual, Lesbianism, Gay.”

Now that the bill has been passed, it will go to President Yoweri Museveni, who can either veto it or approve it and sign it into law. It seems, however, that the president has already expressed support for the bill in a recent speech.

Ugandans have expressed worry because the last time the legislation was around, there were cases of suicide, and this time this law is worse than the one that was set before. Even Tiugere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, expressed worry over the president’s decision to veto or sign the bill, saying that he must urgently veto the appalling legislation.

“This ambiguous, vaguely worded law even criminalizes those who ‘promote’ homosexuality or ‘attempt to commit the offense of homosexuality.’ In reality, this deeply repressive legislation will institutionalize discrimination, hatred, and prejudice against LGBTI people”


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