LGBTQ activists in Uganda ‘in shock’ over anti-gay legislation, fearing mass arrests

LGBTQ activists in Uganda ‘in shock’ over anti-gay legislation, fearing mass arrests

Members of Uganda’s LGBTQ group are in shock and concern being arrested after parliament handed a brand new legislation that makes it against the law to determine as homosexual, and imposes robust sentences that embody the dying penalty in sure instances, an activist mentioned on Wednesday.

The “Anti-Homosexuality Invoice, 2023” was handed with a near-unanimous majority by lawmakers in the east African nation the place anti-LGBTQ sentiment runs deep.

Frank Mugisha, one of some Ugandans who stay overtly as homosexual, informed Reuters he was scared the legislation will set off “mass arrests of lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and mob violence towards LGBTQ communities.”

“LGBTQ individuals are going to concern going to well being centres for companies … there’s going to be numerous trauma and instances of psychological well being that may result in numerous suicide,” he mentioned.

A Ugandan transgender girl who was lately attacked and presently being sheltered watches a TV display displaying the stay broadcast of the session from the Parliament for the anti-gay invoice, at a neighborhood charity supporting the LGBTQ Group close to Kampala on March 21. (Stuart Tibaweswa/AFP through Getty Pictures)

Legislation condemned internationally

Similar-sex relations have been already unlawful in Uganda, however supporters of the brand new legislation say it’s wanted to punish a broader array of LGBTQ actions, which they are saying threaten conventional values in the conservative and spiritual East African nation.

It consists of steep sentences that embody dying for “aggravated homosexuality” and life in jail for same-sex relations. Aggravated homosexuality applies to same-sex actions with folks below the age of 18 or when the perpetrator is HIV constructive, amongst different classes, in line with the legislation.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned on Wednesday the legislation would undermine elementary human rights and “reverse beneficial properties in the battle towards HIV/AIDS” and urged authorities to rethink implementation of the legislation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau additionally known as on Uganda’s authorities to rethink the laws, calling it “appalling and abhorrent.” 

“No one, nowhere, ought to must stay in concern due to who they’re or whom they love,” Trudeau mentioned in a tweet. 

The laws handed by the Ugandan Parliament yesterday, often known as the Anti-Homosexuality Act, is appalling and abhorrent – nobody, nowhere, ought to must stay in concern due to who they’re or whom they love. We strongly urge Ugandan lawmakers to rethink this laws.


The laws will subsequent be despatched to President Yoweri Museveni, who has repeatedly denounced homosexuality, to be signed into legislation.

“It is a second of shock for the LGBTQ group,” mentioned Mugisha, whose charity which advocates for LGBTQ rights was shut down final 12 months.

Mugisha mentioned he would problem the legislation in courtroom on grounds that it was unconstitutional, and violated varied worldwide treaties to which Uganda is a signatory. He didn’t say when he would file a case.

A case reminiscent of his would stand a great likelihood of putting down the legislation, in line with two Kampala-based attorneys contacted by Reuters.

“The legislation violates elementary constitutional rights like privateness and free speech, so purely based mostly on the legislation, I feel it will likely be a robust case,” mentioned lawyer Adrian Jjuko.

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