OAN’s Noah Herring
10:45 AM – Monday, May 29, 2023
Uganda’s president has signed an anti-gay legislation that received the support of many in the country but also the condemnation of rights activists abroad.
This new version of the bill, signed by President Yoweri Museveni, reportedly does not criminalize those who identify as LGBTQ, which was a key concern for campaigners who condemned the initial draft of the legislation, but does include the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” This included sex with a minor, having sex while HIV positive, and incest.
Musevini had sent the bill back to Parliament for revisions in April, asking for changes that would allow a differentiation between identifying as LGBTQ and engaging in homosexual acts, angering some lawmakers into thinking that the president would veto the bill due to international pressure. It was not until May that the amended version of the bill had passed.
Rights activists are reportedly already looking to take this legislation to court to challenge the law.
“This is hardly surprising for anyone following the events closely, but it is still deeply concerning that the country is viciously discriminating against its sexual minorities. The battle lines are drawn and the next stage of the contestation will be in a court of law,” said Nicholas Opiyo, a prominent human rights lawyer.
Anti-gay sentiment had been growing recently in Uganda with some of the news coverage being sodomy in boarding schools, including a prestigious school for boys where a parent had accused a teacher for abusing her son.
The United Nations Human Rights Office said that it was “appalled that the draconian and discriminatory anti-gay bill is now law.” They described the newly signed legislation as “a recipe for systematic violations of the rights” of LGBTQ people.
President Joe Biden also commented on the new law on Monday, saying, “The enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is a tragic violation of universal human rights — one that is not worthy of the Ugandan people, and one that jeopardizes the prospects of critical economic growth for the entire country.”
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