Ugandan MPs have enacted a bill that, among other things, stipulates a prison sentence of up to ten years for identifying as LGBTQ+.
In a country where same-sex relationships are already outlawed, the new legislation represents a further crackdown on LGBTQ+ persons. It prohibits a variety of activities, including advocating and abetting homosexuality and conspiring to engage in homosexuality.
Reuters reported that opposition lawmaker Asuman Basalirwa introduced the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2023 to parliament, saying that the bill aims to “protect our church culture; the legal, religious and traditional family values of Ugandans from the acts that are likely to promote sexual promiscuity in this country.”
Basalirwa said on Tuesday, March 21;
“The objective of the bill was to establish a comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect traditional family values, our diverse culture, our faiths, by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same se.x and the promotion or recognition of sexual relations between persons of the same se.x.”
However, lawmaker Fox Odoi-Oywelowo came out against the bill, claiming that it “violates established international and regional human rights standards” by unfairly limiting the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ people.
The bill is expected to be handed to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for approval. Last Friday, Museveni referred to homosexuals as “deviants.”
Uganda made headlines in 2009 when it passed an anti-homosexuality bill that carried the death penalty for homosexual se.x.
In 2014, MPs in the country enacted a bill, but they substituted the death penalty language with a proposal for life in prison. That law was eventually overturned.