Monday, May 29, 2023

President’s approval of anti-LGBTQ bill is a grave assault on human rights in Uganda


Last March, Uganda's Parliament passed the bill known as 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The bill has come into effect in Uganda, after the country’s president Yoweri Museveni signed into law.

The signing of this deeply repressive law is a grave assault on human rights and the Constitution of Uganda and the regional and international human rights instruments to which Uganda is a party .

The new law criminalised those who promote homosexuality or attempt to commit the offence of homosexuality, so this deeply repressive legislation will institutionalise discrimination, hatred, and prejudice against LGBTQ people.

The anti-homosexuality law will do nothing other than enshrine discrimination, hatred and prejudice against LGBTQ Ugandans and their allies into law. It’s unconscionable that they risk losing their lives, their freedom, their privacy, their freedom of expression and their ability to live free from discrimination.

The law imposes a punishment of life imprisonment for same-sex sexual acts, and up to 10 years behind bars for attempted same-sex sexual acts. It also imposed the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and criminalizes the “promotion” of homosexuality, a provision that encourages homophobia.

This law violates basic human rights and sets a dangerous precedent for discrimination and persecution against the LGBTQ community. Same-sex relationships were already against the law in Uganda before the signing of the bill, as they are in more than half of countries in Africa.

This is a sad and dark day for LGBTQ rights and for Uganda.

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