Uganda doubles down on gay sex ban with new homophobic laws


uganda president yoweri museveni

Uganda has passed a bill further outlawing “unnatural” same-sex relations and doubling down on laws criminalising its LGBT community.

The parliament of Uganda confirmed they passed the Sexual Offences Bill 2019 this week, putting consensual gay sex on par with bestiality under the law.

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Ugandan MPs first drafted the bill as far back as 2015. At the time, they described it as an effort to crack down on sexual violence in the east African country.

But among the changes is a clause to explicitly ban consensual gay sex in an attack on the country’s queer community.

The country’s Colonial-era Penal Code Act 1950 already banned “unnatural offences”. That included “performing a sexual act with another person contrary to the order of nature”.

Anyone violating that law already faces life in prison. In 2000, the law was also expanded to ban same-sex conduct between women.

However the Committee of the Whole House, comprised of sitting MPs, quietly added a clause to the new Sexual Offences Bill banning anal sex and an explicit “ban on sexual acts between persons of the same gender”.

The committee recommended that “for completeness”, lawmakers should add “penetrating another person’s anus with that person’s sexual organ or any object” to the existing list of “unnatural offences”.

The Ugandan parliament announced on Twitter the Bill had passed its third reading on Monday (May 3).

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni must now sign it into law.

New anti-gay law causes outrage among activists in Uganda

Uganda’s new law targeting LGBT people has caused outrage among local human rights advocates.

Sexual Minorities Uganda, a network of LGBTQ organizations in Uganda, said the anti-gay clause in the bill go against its stated goal of protecting Ugandans from sexual violence.

“The Bill will enhance the already homophobic environment in Uganda,” the group said.

“[It will lead to] further violation of the rights of sexual and gender minorities, including violations such as ‘corrective rape’ and other acts of violence.”

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The Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum warned the laws “create avenues for further infringement on the rights of persons targeted under the guise of enforcing the law.”

Queer charity Let’s Walk Uganda said the existing laws criminalising LGBT Ugandans “already cause great damage” to them.

“This move by [the parliament] to further criminalize consensual same-sex intercourse is not only a threat to bodily autonomy but [also] access to health,” they said.

 

LGBT Ugandans already face widespread persecution

LGBT people in Uganda already face widespread persecution in the east African nation.

Activists reported a rise in homophobic rhetoric from leaders during elections at the start of the year.

In 2019, a government minister caused international outrage after claiming Uganda would implement the death penalty for gay people.

President Yoweri Museveni (pictured above) later walked back the comments, saying the law was not being planned.

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1 Comment

  1. Nick Davis
    8 May 2021
    Reply

    You just know one of the “christian” groups are behind it.
    Western governments should cut all funding to the country, that’ll hurt the corrupt politicians.

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