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Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill - Briefing

Death penalty proposed for consenting same-sex relations Misreported & unreported aspects of the legislation


Peter Tatchell | 15 January, 2010

Human Rights Day protest against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill - Ugandan Embassy, London, 10 December 2009.
LONDON — Below is a full and comprehensive briefing on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is currently before the Ugandan Parliament and which proposes the death penalty for certain consenting homosexual acts.

Sponsored by the Ugandan MP, David Bahati, the Bill is expected to be debated and voted on in the coming weeks.

This briefing includes details new laws to replace the already existing extreme homophobic laws in Uganda and their hateful social effects, a link to a full copy of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and my summary of its key elements.

Although there have been reports that death penalty clauses will be dropped, to date the Bill has not been amended, watered down or scrapped. All the original provisions, including the death penalty, remain.

Indeed, the Bill's sponsor, MP David Bahati, said late last week that he stands by the Bill and will not withdraw it.

Read the full text of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Summary of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Peter Tatchell of the London-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights group OutRage! said:

"The Anti-Homosexuality Bill proposes the death penalty for two classes of same-sex acts.

"First, for 'aggravated' homosexuality, which is defined as gay sex with under 18s or disabled persons and gay sex by a person in authority or by a person with HIV, even if they use a condom.

"Second, for 'serial' homosexual acts, meaning for persons who have repeated same-sex relations ie. more than once or twice.

"The Bill extends the existing penalty of life imprisonment for same- sex intercourse to all other same-sex behaviour, including the mere touching of another person with the intent to have homosexual relations.

"Life imprisonment is also the penalty for contracting a same-sex marriage.

"Promoting homosexuality and aiding and abetting others to commit homosexual acts will be punishable by five to seven years jail. These new crimes are likely to include membership and funding of LGBT organisations, advocacy of LGBT human rights, supportive counselling of LGBT persons and the provision of condoms or safer sex advice to LGBT people.

"A person in authority - gay or heterosexual - who fails to report violators to the police within 24 hours will be sentenced to three years behind bars.

"Astonishingly, the new legislation has an extra-territorial jurisdiction. It will also apply to Ugandan citizens or foreign residents of Uganda who commit these 'crimes' while abroad, in countries where such behaviour is not a criminal offence. Violators overseas will be subjected to extradition, trial and punishment in Uganda.

"This bill is even more draconian than the extreme homophobic laws of countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

"It is part of a wide attack on civil society and is symptomatic of Uganda's drift to Mugabe-style authoritarianism," added Mr Tatchell. Read this report by me on the tyranny of President Yoweri Museveni's Ugandan regime. – Issued by OUTRAGE!


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