Kampala, Uganda – On October 10th, Simon Lokodo, the Ethics and Integrity minister of Uganda, announced in an interview with Reuters that he planned to introduce to the Ugandan parliament a bill imposing the death penalty for same-sex relations and “promotion and recruitment” of homosexuality in order to curb a rise in “unnatural sex.” Fortunately, the government appears to have had a change in heart on going forward with this so called “Kill the Gays” bill according to the Peter Tatchell Foundation and Pink News in a post by John Milton on October 18th. LGBTQ activists were wrapped in fear after Lokodo made his TV statement. But a spokesperson for President Yoweri Museveni said the government has no plans to introduce the legislation. “There are no plans by the government to introduce a law like that,” Don Wanyama, President Museveni’s senior press secretary told Reuters. “We have the penal code that already handles issues of unnatural sexual behavior so there is no law coming up.”
Uganda’s “Anti-Homosexuality Act” was first passed by the parliament in 2013 and signed into law by President Museveni in early 2014, only to be invalidated by the Constitutional Court of Uganda on procedural grounds the same year. According to Reuters, the government now plans to resurrect the act in the coming weeks, with a death penalty foreseen not only for same-sex relations, but also for “promotion and recruitment” of homosexuality Outright Action International noted in a press release.
Same-sex relations have been criminalized in Uganda since British colonial times, the advocacy organization notes, adding that Articles on “unnatural offenses” and “indecent practices” have been retained in the Penal Code since independence. “Carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between men currently carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. (Dallas Voice – Tammye Nash at Dallasvoice.com/uganda-plans-to-re-introduce-anti-homosexuality-act & Peter Tatchell Foundation & Pink News – John Milton at Pinknews.co.uk/2019/10/16/uganda-u-turns-kill-the-gays-bill-africa-death-penalty )
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