The Capital Pride Alliance condemns newly enacted legislation by the Ugandan parliament that imposes on that country’s citizens some of the harshest anti-gay laws in existence. Uganda already had in place extremely draconian restrictions on same-sex relations, making them illegal and punishable by life imprisonment. The new law now includes a ban on promoting and abetting homosexuality as well as conspiracy to engage in homosexuality. In addition, the death penalty may be applied in cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” which encompasses sex acts committed without consent or under duress, against children, people with mental or physical disabilities, by a “serial offender,” or involving incest.
The purported justification for this new legislation is to uphold the nation’s “church culture” and “traditional family values,” both of which have often been cited as reasons for oppressing members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Every person has the right to live their true and authentic lives free from state-sanctioned discrimination. Instead of devising laws that encourage prejudice and bias, a government should protect its citizens from such oppression. Over the past century many countries around the globe have modified their previous hostility to their LGBTQ+ citizens, and some have enacted protections that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender expression.
The actions of the Ugandan government are part of a troubling trend in places throughout the world — including in our own country — to use legislation to curtail and restrict the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. We must stand up and oppose these attacks wherever we encounter them, and we must call on our allies to join us in these fights. We stand with the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda.
For more information: www.hrw.org/news/2023/03/09/uganda-new-anti-gay-bill-further-threatens-rights