Uganda parliament passes law banning citizens from identifying as LGBTQ
Ugandan legislators have passed a law that, among other things, provides for a maximum of 10 years imprisonment for those who identify as LGBTQ+.
This new legislation is a crackdown on LGBTQ+ people in a country that already makes same-sex relationships illegal. It prohibits the promotion and encouragement of homosexuality, as well as conspiring to engage in homosexuality.
Reuters reported that Asuman Basalirwa, an opposition lawmaker, introduced the Anti-Homosexualitya Bill (2023) to parliament. He stated that the bill aims “to protect our church culture; and the legal, religious, and traditional family values Ugandans from acts that are likely promote sexual promiscuity within this country.”
Basalirwa stated 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 sex and the promotion or recognition of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.”
Lawmaker Fox Odoi-Oywelowo however spoke out against the bill, saying that it “contravenes established international and regional human rights standards” as it “unfairly limits the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ persons.”
The bill is expected to eventually go to Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, for assent. Museveni last week derided homosexuals as “deviants.”
Uganda made headlines in 2009 when it introduced an anti-homosexuality bill that included a death sentence for gay sex.
The country’s lawmakers passed a bill in 2014, but they replaced the death penalty clause with a proposal for life in prison. That law was ultimately struck down.