Uganda Parliament Approves Death Penalty for LGBTQ+ Community
March 22, 2023
Cited article by Samuel Okiror, The Guardian
HRRC is appalled by the passing of Uganda's anti-LGBTQ+ bill. The existing laws in the country already discriminate against and target people from the LGBTQ+ community, violating fundamental human rights. Adding the death penalty as a possible punishment for the "crime" of homosexuality is a further violation under international human rights law. All Ugandans must have their rights protected.
On March 21, 2023, Uganda's parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of a hardline anti-LGBTQ+ bill. While an anti-LGBTQ+ law is already in place in the country, punishing those who "commit offenses" to life imprisonment, the new bill will add the death penalty as a possibility. In addition, the law bans promoting and abetting homosexuality as well as conspiracy to engage in homosexuality. The bill will be presented to President Yoweri Museveni at which point he can veto or sign into law.
President Museveni has often spoken out against homosexuality, claiming western nations are trying to normalize "deviations". Refusing to "embrace such practices" has led to open discrimination and violence against members of the LGBTQ+ community. According to a local advocacy group called Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug), in February 2023, "more than 110 LGBTQ+ people...reported incidents including arrests, sexual violence, evictions and public undressing". When the bill is signed into law, reports of violence and arrest in the LGBTQ+ community will likely increase.