As Uganda faces grave problems such as corruption and poverty another issue has been brought upon their people from President Yoweri Museveni. Museveni proposed an Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was passed by parliament on December 20.
The passing of the bill has outraged many especially human rights organizations that openly detest the bill’s rationale of increasing penalties of consensual sex acts between those of the same genders and these groups label the bill as taking away from their freedoms of expression.
So what does the bill outlaw specifically?
Life sentences could be passed to any individual who penetrates or give sexual stimulation to someone of the same sex. Life sentences would also be given to “aggravated” homosexuality and those who are considered “serial offenders.” In previous law under Article 145 it states that punishment occurs with “carnal knowledge against the order of nature.” This is a term from the colonial-era that outlawed sexual action between men but the new bill would outlaw it with women as well.
Freedom of expression for these groups are also being challenged as directors of activist groups could face jail time for their positions in these groups. Not only do the directors face prison time the groups themselves may also be shut down.
Even marriage is punishable with jail time. Same-sex couples who have public or private ceremonies will face life sentences in prison.
Uganda’s Human Rights Treaty would also be put in question with the new passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. There is wording in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that directly violates ideals in the Human Rights Treaty and specifically violates the right to non-discrimination. Activists fear that the president’s effort for political gain has caused a slippery slope that could end in disaster.
The four organizations have cried out to international donors to profess their dislike for the bill. Some donors have already taken action and have been outspoken in their distaste for President Museveni’s decision in efforts to keep the bill from becoming law.