Uganda passes anti-LGBTQ law – amid homophobic comments – policy
Amid loud, homophobic comments, the parliament passed an inhuman decree. Heterosexuals who do not report homosexual acts should also be punished.
In Uganda people who carry out homosexual acts face between seven and ten years imprisonment. The parliament in the East African country passed an “anti-homosexual law” on Tuesday evening, which also provides for imprisonment or heavy fines for people who do not report attempts at homosexual acts.
This is another tightening of the current legislation, which already provides for high prison sentences for same-sex acts. People who identify as bisexual, transgender or queer are also affected by the new law. During the adoption, the parliamentarians repeatedly shouted homophobic comments. One of the deputies called for “castrating” homosexuals. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has also publicly agitated against sexual minorities.
criticism from human rights activists
Human Rights Watch criticized the law even before it was passed. “The potential ramifications are far-reaching,” said Oryem Nyeko, Uganda researcher at Human Rights Watch. Apart from restricting fundamental rights to privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of association, this type of criminalization of people creates a climate of fear and promotes discrimination. According to a Ugandan activist, friends, doctors or landlords of members of the LGBTQ community would also be liable to prosecution.
In 2014, the Ugandan parliament passed a similar law that would have provided for life imprisonment and, in certain cases, the death penalty for convicted homosexuals. However, the Constitutional Court overturned the law due to procedural details.
In other East African countries, too, the climate for gays and lesbians has recently worsened. A leading politician from the Tanzanian ruling party called for the castration of homosexual people at the weekend. Kenya’s President William Ruto said in early March, homosexuality have no place in his country.