Uganda Presents Anti-Gay Bill In Parliament
In defiance of criticism from human rights organizations, Ugandan lawmakers have introduced legislation to parliament that calls for severe new penalties for same-sex relationships in a nation where homosexuality is already prohibited.
Annet As the first step in an expedited procedure to pass the proposal into law, Speaker of the House Anita Among referred the bill to a house committee for review.
She said in a homophobic-laced speech before parliament that there would be “a public hearing” in which sexual minorities would be permitted to participate.
Let the general public, including homos, express their opinions, she urged.
The bill is being introduced at a time when in conservative Uganda, rumors on social media are spreading that unidentified foreign entities are encouraging homosexuality.
Anyone who partakes in same-sex activity or “holds out” as LGBTQ could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison under the proposed law.
The length of the parliamentary procedure is unknown.
When it was time to vote, it was stated that lawmakers would do so in front of their peers, one at a time.
You will now have to prove to us whether you are a homo or not, she said.
The strict Christian views on sexuality in general and Uganda’s intolerance of homosexuality, which is illegal under laws from the colonial era, are well known.
However, since the country’s 1962 separation from the United Kingdom, there has never been a conviction for consensual same-sex activity.
According to rights organizations, the law would lead to increased persecution of a defenseless minority group.
A court later overturned a law that Ugandan lawmakers passed in 2014 that mandated life in prison for anyone found engaging in gay sex.
The new legislation, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), is “a revised and more egregious version” of the 2014 bill.
Oryem Nyeko, a Uganda researcher for HRW, said that Ugandan politicians should put more effort into enacting laws that defend vulnerable minorities and uphold fundamental rights rather than continuing to target LGBT people for political gain.