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Amnesty International urges Museveni to reject Anti homosexuality bill

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Amnesty International has urged President Yoweri Museveni to reject the just passed Anti homosexuality bill.

Yesterday, Parliament passed Anti homosexuality bill which seeks to protect 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.

It also seeks to criminalise 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.

Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, said President Museveni must urgently veto this appalling legislation, which was passed following a rushed vote on Tuesday evening. The law, dubbed the ‘2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill’, amounts to a grave assault on LGBTI people and is contemptuous of the Ugandan constitution.

 “This ambiguous, vaguely worded law even criminalizes those who promote’ homosexuality or ‘attempt to commit the offence of homosexuality. In reality, this deeply repressive legislation will institutionalize discrimination, hatred, and prejudice against LGBTI people, including those who are perceived to be LGBTI and block the legitimate work of civil society, public health professionals, and community leaders,” he said.

“Instead of criminalizing LGBTI people, Uganda should protect them by enacting laws and policies that align with the principles of equality and non-discrimination enshrined not only in Uganda’s Constitution, but also the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,” he said.

According to the Bill anyone caught committing this crime could face up to 10 years behind bars. It also criminalizes the promotion of homosexuality, a provision that encourages homophobia.

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 24, 2014, the Constitutional Court on 1 August 2014 annulled the law citing that it was passed without the required quorum in the House.

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