- The Ugandan anti-homosexuality regulation seeks to introduce the demise penalty for same-sex relationships.
- UN and Amnesty International have pleaded with Museveni to veto the “rushed” laws.
- In 2014, an identical regulation was annulled by the courtroom because of the lack of a quorum when the invoice was handed.
The United Nations (UN) and Amnesty International (AI) are main requires Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to not signal into regulation an “appalling” regulation, which criminalises LGBTQI+ relationships.
The 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill was launched in Parliament by ruling get together legislator Asuman Basalirwa on 9 March.
It seeks to punish homosexuality with the demise penalty.
“A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality and is liable, on conviction, to suffer death,” reads the invoice.
Tigere Chagutah, AI’s regional director for East and Southern Africa, mentioned Museveni ought to use his presidential powers to cease the regulation.
“President Yoweri Museveni must urgently veto this appalling legislation, which was passed following a rushed vote on Tuesday evening,” he mentioned.
READ | Uganda passes bill banning identifying as LGBTQIA+
He referred to as the regulation opaque as a result of it “criminalises those who ‘promote’ homosexuality or ‘attempt to commit the offence of homosexuality’.
“In actuality, this deeply repressive laws will institutionalise discrimination, hatred, and prejudice towards LGBTQI+ individuals, together with those that are perceived to be LGBTQI+ and block the legit work of civil society, public well being professionals and neighborhood leaders.”
Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the law, if passed, would become the most draconian such legislation in the world.
The passage of this discriminatory text is probably the worst of its kind in the world.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the law would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“We urge the Ugandan authorities to strongly rethink the implementation of this laws,” he said.
But getting Museveni, who called the LGBTQI+ community a “deviation from regular”, to accede, would be a hard ask.
“The homosexuals are deviations from regular. Why? Is it by nature or nurture. We have to reply these questions,” Museveni said in Parliament last week, calling for a “science-based” and thorough discussion.
After the bill was introduced, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the law would violate multiple fundamental rights – if adopted.
“Among others (rights), such a regulation would violate the rights to freedom of expression and affiliation, privateness, equality and non-discrimination,” HRW said.
The law is a revival of the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014, which was resisted by lobbyists, including the UN.
The 2014 version called for a 14-year jail term for a first conviction, and life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality”.
The law was annulled by the court due to the lack of a quorum when the bill was passed.
Some of the concerns then was that it would reverse the gains of the fight against HIV in Uganda.
According to the UN, HIV prevalence in Uganda among adults was 5.8%. HIV prevalence was higher among women (7.2%) than among men (4.3%).
ALSO READ | Kenyan LGBTQI activist was killed out of ‘hate’ for who he was, says African rights body
But the 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill is more repressive compared to its 2014 predecessor.
Besides the death penalty, it proposes a 10-year jail stint for people who “maintain out as a lesbian, homosexual, transgender, a queer, or another sexual or gender identification that’s opposite to the binary classes of female and male”.
In short, it declares all same-sex relationships as “non-consensual”.
Uganda is without doubt one of the world’s most homophobic international locations, as already homosexuality is punishable by a life sentence.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The tales produced via the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements which may be contained herein don’t mirror these of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.