All but two of Uganda’s 389 MPs have passed a controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill, which introduces capital and life imprisonment sentences for gay sex and the “recruitment, promotion and funding” of same-sex “activities”.
“A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality and is liable, on conviction to suffer death,” reads the bill presented by Robina Rwakoojo, the chairperson for legal and parliamentary affairs.
Two MPs from the ruling party, Paul Kwizera Bucyana and Fox Odoi-Oywelowo, opposed the new legislation with Odoi-Oywelowo saying: “The bill is ill-conceived, it contains provisions that are unconstitutional, reverses the gains registered in the fight against gender-based violence and criminalises individuals instead of conduct that contravenes all known legal norms.
“The bill doesn’t introduce any value addition to the statute book and available legislative framework.”
The bill, which marks the latest in a string of setbacks for LGBTQ+ rights in Africa, where homosexuality is illegal in most countries, has received condemnation from some human rights organisations with Oryem Nyeko, a researcher from the Africa division of Human Rights Watch saying: “It’s disappointing that parliament would, once again, pass a bill that is clearly in contravention of several basic human rights.
“This just opens the door for more regressive laws and for people’s rights to be violated across the board. President Museveni shouldn’t assent to it.”
The bill will now go to Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, who last month said Uganda will not embrace homosexuality, claiming that the west was seeking to compel other countries to “normalise” what he called “deviations”.
“The western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by trying to impose their practices on other people.
“Homosexuals are deviations from the normal. Why? Is it by nature or by nurture? We need to answer those questions. We need a medical opinion on that,” he said.