Foreign Minister Penny Wong calls out Uganda’s new anti-gay laws


Penny Wong and Uganda President Yoweri Museveni
Images: UN/YouTube, Graham Carlow/Flickr

Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong has spoken out against Uganda’s harsh new anti-gay laws, that include the death penalty.

The new law imposes a life sentence for gay sex as well as the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”. Those convicted of “promoting homosexuality” also face twenty years in prison.

President Yoweri Museveni (pictured above, inset) signed the hateful Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law this week.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong tweeted on Tuesday, “Australia is deeply troubled by Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023.

“It is a shocking reversal of human rights, a grave threat to lives and risks decades of health and development progress.

“Australia stands with the people of Uganda, including the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Australian LGBTQIA+ group Just.Equal have called on the government to do more, including actively increasing Australia’s intake of persecuted LGBTIQA+ asylum seekers from Uganda.

The group also urged the Australian government to impose restrictions and sanctions on Ugandan officials.

“Australia has a key role to play in defeating this contemptible law and in protecting the human rights of LGBTIQA+ Ugandans,” spokesperson Rodney Croome said.

“The Australian Government has told us it has made behind-the-scenes representations but it must do more.”

US President Joe Biden foreshadowed sanctions and entry restrictions for Ugandan officials because of the law that he described as a “tragic violation of universal human rights”.

Uganda’s anti-gay law ‘harshest in the world’

Three top health groups – UNAIDS, the Global Fund and US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar)  – said Uganda’s progress on tackling HIV was in “grave jeopardy”.

“The stigma and discrimination [of the laws] has already led to reduced access to prevention as well as treatment services,” they said.

Equality Australia also slammed the new laws as the harshest of their kind in the world and sent a message of support to Uganda’s LGBTQIA+ community.

“Our thoughts, our solidarity and our determination to fight all forms of homophobia are with the LGBT+ community in Uganda today and every day,” the group said.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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2 Comments

  1. Peter Turner
    2 June 2023
    Reply

    Too little too late.
    Uganda must be politically isolated.
    Expel any Ugandan representatives currently in the Country, cease all aid to the Country, halt ANY trade with them and increase the intake of refugees from their LGBTQI community.
    We also need to make representations to the UN to enact global restrictions and confiscate any assets of Government officials.

  2. Wendell Rosevear
    2 June 2023
    Reply

    Sadly the origins of these Devaluing Laws lie in Colonialism and the influence of “Evangelical, Pentecostal christians” who preached in 2009 (Lively, Brundidge & Schmierer) to rid Uganda of the “evils of homosexuality”. The same influences are seen in Burundi where Margaret Court’s homophobic curriculum has been adopted as the National Education Curriculum. She hosts the Burundi Embassy in her Perth Church despite the Evidence of Organized killings: See BBC Kamwe Kamwe. A safe world values people and honesty not punishes either.

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