Uganda LGBTQ Bill: Uganda’s parliament has passed some of the world’s most draconian anti-LGBTQ legislation. Same-sex acts were already illegal in Uganda, but lawmakers voted on Tuesday night to outlaw identifying as LGBTQ+ or promoting gay identity.
In a crowded chamber, lawmakers overwhelmingly supported the anti-homosexuality bill, with only two of the nearly 400 representatives voting against it.
Uganda passes harsh bill for people who identify as homosexual and will impose death penalty in some cases. pic.twitter.com/pP6QGCQALw
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) March 22, 2023
The death penalty, according to the bill, can be applied in cases involving “aggravated homosexuality” – a broad term used in the legislation to describe sex acts committed without consent or under duress, against children, people with mental or physical disabilities, by a “serial offender,” or involving incest.
Under British colonial-era laws, same-sex acts were criminalised in Uganda, but this new legislation goes much further. Aggravated homosexuality, which includes having sex with someone who has HIV, could result in the death penalty. The law would also punish anyone who identifies as gay or queer, as well as individuals or rights organisations seen to promote or support LGBTQ identity.
The Anti Homosexuality Bill 2023, introduced by opposition lawmaker Asuman Basalirwa, aims to “protect our church culture; the legal, religious, and traditional family values of Ugandans from acts that are likely to promote sexual promiscuity in this country.”
Violations of the law are punishable by death for so-called aggravated homosexuality and life in prison for gay sex. According to the law, aggravated homosexuality includes gay sex with people under the age of 18 or when the perpetrator is HIV positive, among other things.
The bill is expected to be sent to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for approval. Last week, Museveni referred to homosexuals as “deviants.”
In the highly conservative and religious East African nation, anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is deeply ingrained.
In 2009, Uganda made headlines when it introduced an anti-homosexuality bill that included a death penalty for gay sex.