The country takes a step backwards as it resurrects legislation against the LGBTQI community
BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS. IMAGE BY SHARON MCCUTCHEON.
The proposed laws against homosexuality will be the latest setback for the rights of the LGBTQI community in Uganda.
Homosexuality is illegal in the majority of countries on the African continent and, in some states, LGBTQI people face life imprisonment or the death penalty.
In an interview with Thomson Reuters, the Ethics and Integrity Minister of Uganda, Simon Lokodo, announced plans to introduce a bill imposing the death penalty for same-sex relations and the “promotion and recruitment” of homosexuality in order to “curb a rise in unnatural sex”.
Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, commented: “Same-sex relations are already criminalised in Uganda, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
“Efforts to impose a death penalty constitute legal overkill, and only serve to increase hate and stigma against LGBTQI people, putting them at risk not only of government persecution but also vigilante violence.”
Local activists have confirmed that this bill is to be formally considered on the 28 October 2019 and agree that the new bill puts the LGBTQI community at risk as it incites further attacks.
Three LGBTQI men and one woman have already been killed in homophobic attacks in Uganda this year – the latest of which took place just last week.
This “anti-homosexuality act” was first passed by the parliament of Uganda in 2013 and signed into law by President Museveni in early 2014. It was invalidated by the Constitutional Court of Uganda on procedural grounds the same year.
Backers of the proposed new law say that it would target the “promotion and recruitment” of homosexuality with people criminalised simply for supporting LGBTQI rights in the country.
Only reading DIVA online? You’re missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It’s pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.