Uganda passes new law to criminalize LGBTQ+Kwesi Traffic
In Uganda, the LGBTQ+ community faces significant challenges and discrimination, and a new proposed law could make their lives even more difficult. The proposed law would criminalize anyone identifying as LGBTQ+, and those found guilty could face up to ten years in jail.
– Uganda passes new law to criminalize LGBTQ+
Uganda is already known for having some of the harshest anti-gay laws in Africa. Currently, same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Uganda, and those found guilty can face up to life imprisonment. Members of the LGBTQ+ community also face discrimination, harassment, and violence, often driven by societal and religious beliefs that view homosexuality as a sin or a western import.
If the new proposed law is passed, it would give authorities more power to prosecute and discriminate against those suspected of being LGBTQ+. It would also mean that LGBTQ+ individuals would have to hide their identity or risk facing imprisonment. The proposed law has been met with widespread condemnation from human rights groups, activists, and members of the international community.
Uganda has a history of being hostile towards the LGBTQ+ community. In 2014, a law that imposed life imprisonment for certain homosexual acts was passed but later annulled by the Constitutional Court on procedural grounds. The law had caused a global uproar, with some countries and donors threatening to cut off aid to Uganda. Despite the annulment of the law, LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda continue to face discrimination and violence.
In 2019, a Ugandan LGBTQ+ activist was brutally murdered in his home. Brian Wasswa, a prominent LGBTQ+ activist, was killed after being attacked with a hammer. The murder sparked outrage and renewed calls for the protection of LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda.
The proposed law has been introduced by a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement party, which has been in power for over three decades. The proposed law has also been criticized for its timing, as it comes during a period of heightened political tensions and violence in Uganda ahead of the presidential elections in 2021.
Human rights groups have condemned the proposed law, with many arguing that it violates international human rights law. Amnesty International, in particular, has called for the law to be withdrawn, stating that it “violates the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, and is discriminatory.”
The proposed law has also been criticized by religious leaders in Uganda. The Anglican Church of Uganda, the largest Protestant denomination in the country, issued a statement condemning the proposed law, stating that it goes against the church’s teachings of love and inclusion.
Despite the opposition to the proposed law, there are fears that it could be passed by parliament, given the ruling party’s overwhelming majority. If passed, the law would be a severe blow to the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda and a violation of their human rights.
It is essential to continue advocating for the protection and rights of LGBTQ+ people in Uganda and around the world. The proposed law is a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and human rights for marginalized communities. Governments and individuals must work towards creating a more inclusive society that respects the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.