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Parliament Finally Passes Bill To Criminalize LGBTQ

Parliament on Tuesday unanimously passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 that criminalizes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer– LGBTQ activities.

Parliament chaired by Speaker Anita Among approved the private member’s Bill with a death penalty for the offence of aggravated homosexuality.

Under the passed Bill, those convicted of attempted aggravated homosexuality will face 14 years once convicted.

Imprisonment for life is the penalty for a person who commits the offence of homosexuality.

People who publically declare that they belong to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer– LGBTQ community face ten years imprisonment for engaging in homosexuality.

A child who is convicted for engaging in homosexuality will be conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years.

The Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament, Asuman Basalirwa, who moved the private member’s bill first tabled the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 for its first reading on March 9 2023 before Speaker Anita Among referred it to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny.

After 10 days of rigorous public hearings and scrutiny, the Committee returned the Bill to the House on Tuesday for the second and third reading before it was overwhelmingly passed following seven hours of debate in which, 358 out of the 529 legislators participated.

Uganda first passed the Anti-Homosexuality law on December 20, 2013, which was tabled by the Ndorwa East Member of Parliament, David Bahati.

This particular law provided a life sentence and the death penalty for offenders.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni signed the Act into law on 24 February 2014 but it was later annulled by the Constitutional Court on grounds that it was passed without the requisite quorum in the House.

Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah has since appealed to President Yoweri Museveni not to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023.

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

The approved Bill is to now take on a new process that leads it to assent by the President under Article 91 (3) of the Constitution within 30 days after a Bill is presented to him or return it to parliament with a request for reconsideration or notify the Speaker in writing that he refuses to assent.

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