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Anti-Homosexuality Bill To Be Returned To Parliament

President Yoweri Museveni meeting Parliamentary Legal Committee at State House Entebbe

President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday met the Parliamentary Legal Committee at State House Entebbe and agreed on the way forward as regards to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The Legal Committee will report to the August House on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and communicate to the public later.

“I have met the Legal Committee of Parliament and we have agreed on the way forward which they are going to report to the bigger body on the Bill of Anti-Homosexuals. The Details will be communicated to the Public in due course,” President Museveni said.

Under the private member’s Bill, Parliament approved the death penalty for the offence of aggravated homosexuality. The offence of aggravated homosexuality is where a victim is a child below 14 or above a person 75 years, a person with a disability or suffers a disability as a result of the sexual act, a person with mental illness and others.

The offence also applies where the offender is a parent, guardian or relative of the victim, the victim contracts a terminal illness as a result of the sexual act, the offender is a serial wrongdoer, an offender is a person in authority over the victim, the offence was committed against a person by means of threats, force, fear of bodily harm, duress, undue influence and others.

Those convicted of attempted aggravated homosexuality will face 14 years once convicted, the offence of homosexuality will attract 20 years in prison, attempted homosexuality 10 years, recruiting, displaying and distribution of material for same-sex sexual acts 20 years, allowing the use of premises for homosexuality 10 years and other penalties.

Recently, the Amnesty International Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah, appealed to President Yoweri Museveni, not to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

According to the Amnesty International Regional Director, the approved law promotes discrimination and hatred.

In a separate statement by the United States White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, the Bill is one of the most extreme laws targeting homosexuality in the world.

She warned that this will not only invade universal human rights, and jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS but will also deter tourism and damage Uganda’s international reputation.

However, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Norbert Mao asked Ugandans to reject the so-called moral relativism, saying that this does not exist.

He encouraged MPs to be equipped with taking notes about the issue since Uganda’s decision is from a Godly point of view.

Parliament’s approval of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 is the second attempt by Uganda to have stand-alone legislation against homosexuality.

In December 2013, Parliament passed the first Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was tabled by Ndorwa East MP, David Bahati and assented to by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on February 24th February 2014.

However, the Constitutional Court annulled the law on August 1st, 2014, on grounds that it had been passed without the requisite quorum.

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