It’s already a crime to be gay in the country, but the new legislation is being brought in to stop the rise of what a government official says is ‘not natural to Ugandans’ – and they want to implement it within the next few weeks.
First introduced in 2014, the bill was originally nullified due to a technicality. However, the Ugandan government are moving full-steam ahead in an attempt to rid of homosexuality in their country altogether – and this looks to be enforced before the end of the year.
Homosexuality, which is already considered a criminal offence worthy of life imprisonment in the East African country, is considered ‘unnatural’ by its government.
Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation: “Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that.
“Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalises the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalised. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence.”
Homosexuality is already punishable by death in a handful of African countries, including Sudan and parts of Nigeria, although it’s a taboo subject all across the continent.
The Anti-Homosexuality act would not only punish the individuals that are caught taking part in same-sex relationships and acts but anyone who was discovered to be aiding them too. Unfortunately, this is all supported by Uganda’s current President, Yoweri Museveni.
Uganda faced widespread international condemnation when the previous bill was signed off in 2014.
The United States reduced aid, imposed visa restrictions and cancelled military exercises. The World Bank, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands also suspended or redirected aid.
Mr Lokodo said Uganda was prepared for any negative response. “It is a concern,” he said.
“But we are ready. We don’t like blackmailing. Much as we know that this is going to irritate our supporters in budget and governance, we can’t just bend our heads and bow before people who want to impose a culture which is foreign to us.”
If two-thirds of the Ugandan parliament vote for the law to be enforced, the bill will be passed. Unfortunately, Lokodo has said that he has “been talking to the MPs” and “many of them are supportive.”
Here’s hoping the bill is invalidated for a second time.
Not just your average Joe, Lord Joseph William Furness – lorded by a mate for his birthday (a decision they now live to regret) – struggles to understand a world in which everyone isn’t as blunt, unemotional and sarcastic as him. His mother calls him pretentious because of his materialistic nature; whilst his father tells him that he can’t live in his own ‘dream world’ forever, but he seems to be doing pretty well so far. He plans to write for The Hook until he sees his name in shining lights – a future promised to him by his year 4 primary school teacher. You can contact Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow