Ugandan President signs highly controversial anti-homosexuality bill into law, sparking international outrage

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni

29th May 2023 – (Kampala) Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has signed a highly controversial anti-homosexuality bill into law, according to the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, on Monday. The law imposes harsh penalties including death and life imprisonment for certain same-sex acts, 20 years in jail for the promotion and funding of same-sex activities, and 14 years in prison for attempted aggravated homosexuality.

As the Parliament of Uganda voted overwhelmingly in favor of the anti-homosexuality bill, President Museveni returned it for reconsideration and amendment in May. After the amendments, he has now assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Act in accordance with his constitutional mandate.

Speaker Among defended the bill, stating that it was passed to protect the sanctity of the family and to respond to the cries of the people. She urged duty bearers to enforce the law in a fair, steadfast, and firm manner.

The bill was met with widespread international criticism when it was first introduced in 2014, leading to its nullification by the Constitutional Court of Uganda on technicalities. The court ruled that the bill was passed without the mandatory parliamentary quorum.

However, the re-introduction of the bill has sparked renewed outrage from human rights organizations and activists who are concerned about the impact it will have on the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda. The law has been criticized for violating fundamental human rights, including the right to privacy and freedom from discrimination.

Many fear that the law will lead to an increasein persecution and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda, where homosexuality is already stigmatized and criminalized. The new law will further exacerbate the situation and put the lives of LGBTQ+ Ugandans at risk.

The international community has expressed its concern and condemnation of the law, with many countries and organisations calling for its repeal. The United States, United Kingdom, and Canada have all released statements expressing their disappointment with the decision to sign the law into effect. rights activists are urging the Ugandan government to reconsider the law and to protect the rights of all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. They are also calling for the international community to take action and to put pressure on the Ugandan government to repeal the law.