The Ugandan Parliament has approved an extreme anti-LGBT bill that strengthens the criminalization of same-sex conduct and places limits on any activism regarding LGBT issues.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Yesterday, Ugandan lawmakers approved new legislation that further criminalises same-sex conduct and restricts any activism related to LGBT issues. The 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill establishes life imprisonment for same-sex conduct and increases the prison sentence to 10 years for an attempted act. It also introduces the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," which includes same-sex relations with a person with a disability, thereby denying them the capacity to consent to sex.

The bill also makes it illegal to "promote homosexuality," censoring LGBT issues and punishing those who advocate for LGBT rights or financially support organisations that do so with up to 20 years in prison. LGBT rights groups may also become unable to operate legally. The bill criminalises anyone who fails to report someone they suspect of participating in same-sex acts, including supportive family and friends who could be imprisoned for not reporting their loved ones.

If the law comes into force, it will violate Ugandan and international law, including the rights to freedom of expression and association, liberty, privacy, equality, freedom from discrimination, inhuman and degrading treatment, and a fair hearing for all Ugandans. Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has 30 days to assent or reject the bill. It is urged that he rejects the bill and introduces comprehensive non-discrimination legislation that protects sexual and other minorities in line with international obligations.