Asuman Basalirwa, mover of the bill.

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee has recommended the passing of Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Last month, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among tasked Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa to reintroduce the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The Bill comes at a time when there are widespread cases of same-sex relationships in the community and major traditional schools.

Earlier this month, Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa tabled the Anti-Homosexuality Bill after obtaining a certificate of financial implications.  The bill was however, referred to the legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee for scrutiny.

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The committee interacted with various people who included the religious leaders, human right activities.  

During the plenary, MPs seconded the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 for the second reading. Following the second reading Robinah Rwakoojo, the chairperson of committee presented the report which recommended the passing of the bill.

Fox Odoi who presented the minority report argued that the Bill seeks to criminalize people simply based on appearance even though they may not have violated any laws. It also infringes on the right to privacy and non-discrimination.

He said the Bill was misconceived and serves no purpose and therefore a duplication of the Penal Code, criminalizes individuals basing on appearance and others.

“The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 was introduced during a time when anti-homosexual sentiments have been wiped up across the country and is not based on any evidence to show that incidents of homosexuality have increased,” he said.

The bill aims at among others protecting traditional families by prohibiting sexual relationships between people of the same sex, strengthening that country’s capacity to deal with emerging threats to the traditional family, protecting the cherished culture of Uganda and protecting children and youth who are vulnerable to sexual abuse.

By time of filing this story, the August House was in the final stages of voting on the bill.

It also seeks to criminalize same-sex relationships with a liability of imprisonment of two to 10 years for homosexuality, aggravated homosexuality, attempted homosexuality, aiding and abetting homosexuality, conspiracy to commit homosexuality and other related practices.

The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 was passed by Parliament on December 20, 2013 with life in prison substituted for the death penalty. Whereas it was signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni on February 14, 2014, the Constitutional Court on August 1,2014 annulled the law citing that it was passed without the required quorum in the House.

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