Uganda president indicators anti-homosexuality invoice into legislation


Uganda’s president signed into legislation a wide-ranging anti-LGBTQ invoice on Monday that imposes life imprisonment for same-sex exercise and the dying penalty in some instances, signaling an intensification of the east African nation’s crackdown on LGBTQ+ folks regardless of widespread worldwide condemnation of the legislation.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 punishes these discovered responsible of “aggravated homosexuality” with dying, a class broadly outlined by legislators to incorporate offenses that vary from having homosexual intercourse with a minor to seducing somebody by means of “misrepresentation” or “undue affect.”

The brand new legislation additionally imposes life imprisonment as punishment for anybody discovered to have carried out a sexual act with an individual of the identical gender, and as much as seven years in jail for “an try to commit the offense of homosexuality.”

“The folks of Uganda have spoken,” tweeted parliamentary speaker Anita Annet Among, asserting that President Yoweri Museveni had signed the laws. “I now encourage the responsibility bearers beneath the legislation to execute the mandate bestowed upon them within the Anti-Homosexuality Act.”

Uganda’s parliament originally passed the bill in March however it was returned to legislators by a presidential veto. The ultimate invoice, accepted by Museveni, stays largely the identical however not features a requirement for folks to report gay exercise or criminalizes the mere figuring out as LGBTQ+.

Its passage into legislation Monday sparked worry and confusion amongst LGBTQ+ Ugandans, lots of whom have already fled the nation.

“The information signifies that I’ll by no means see house once more,” stated Kwame, 32, a homosexual asylum seeker talking to The Washington Submit by telephone from Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. His identify has been modified to guard his id.

“I left Uganda in 2018; it was a scary time for me. I really feel the worry, like that morning I ran away from my house. I’m within the refugee camp in the mean time and by no means felt so disillusioned in my life,” he stated.

“I really feel extraordinarily scared,” stated Jude, 38, who requested to be recognized solely by his first identify to guard his id, talking by telephone from the identical refugee camp as Kwame on Monday.

“It’s a tragedy on our story and full neighborhood,” he stated. “I’ve no choice in Uganda.”

According to the Human Dignity Trust, a London-based nongovernmental group that screens the authorized standing of LGBTQ+ folks in several nations, same-sex exercise has been punishable by life imprisonment in Uganda since 1950, when the legislation was inherited from British colonial statues. The group stated there’s substantial proof of the earlier legislation getting used to arrest and arbitrarily detain LGBTQ+ folks, however precise prosecutions are uncommon.

Western officers and nongovernmental organizations condemned the act, with some arguing that Uganda’s stigmatization of LGBTQ+ folks threatened the well being of individuals residing with HIV there. “Uganda’s progress on its HIV response is now in grave jeopardy,” stated Winnie Byanyima, government director of UNAIDS, in a joint statement signed additionally by the leaders of the International Fund to Struggle AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Aid.

“LGBTQI+ folks in Uganda more and more worry for his or her security and safety, and growing numbers of persons are being discouraged from in search of important well being providers for worry of assault, punishment and additional marginalization,” they stated.

Variations of Monday’s laws concentrating on LGBTQ+ folks have been round in Uganda since 2009. In 2014, Museveni’s authorities handed the same legislation, whose first iteration included the dying penalty for some offenses — however was struck down by the courtroom for not following due parliamentary course of.

Niha Masih contributed to this report.


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