Anti-gay Bill: Amnesty International Piles Pressure On Museveni

unhealthy information pills geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>“The passage of the Bill – which dramatically increases the criminal penalties for consensual sexual activity between adults of the same sex – amounts to a grave assault on human rights,” the organisation said in a statement seen by Chimpreports on Saturday.

“In addition to violating rights to privacy, family life and equality, the bill threatens freedom of association and expression – all protected under Ugandan and international human rights law. It institutionalizes discrimination against already marginalized lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals in the country.”

It remains unclear if Museveni will assent to the Bill within the next 30 days amidst growing international pressure.

MP David Bahati, who tendered the motion in Parliament in 2009, praised lawmakers for passing the legislation that criminalises and outlaws homosexuality.

It also provides harsh jail terms for same sex relationships in the country.

The Bill provides a fourteen year jail term for one convicted for the offence of homosexuality; and imprisonment for life for the offence of aggravated homosexuality.

According to Parliament, the legislation seeks to establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.

Parliament said the Bill also intends to end “the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any other non-governmental organization inside or outside the country.”

Bahati argued that this “is an important piece of Legislation” and that “there was enough quorum in the house to pass this bill.”

“I want to thank the speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga for the courage and for providing leadership to defend the children of Uganda and the cause for Humanity to protect our Marriages and to defend our culture and to defend the future of our children,” said Bahati.

“I have played my part. It’s an important piece of legislation and I want to thank all who have been supportive especially Religious Leaders, Parents and Children. The Anti Homosexuality bill now an Act is an important step that will protect the children of Uganda.”

Civil society

However, international groups and civil societies are not taking lightly the passing of the controversial bill.

Aster van Kregten, Deputy Africa Director at Amnesty International, said “President Museveni must veto this wildly discriminatory legislation, which amounts to a grave assault on human rights and makes a mockery of the Ugandan constitution.

He added: “Passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was a retrograde step for Uganda’s Parliament, which has made some important progress on human rights in recent years, including criminalizing torture. It flies in the face of the Ugandan government’s stated commitment to ensure all legislation complies with human rights.”

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was first introduced in 2009 and reintroduced to Parliament in 2012.

Amnesty International and other Ugandan and international human rights organizations have repeatedly called for the legislation to be scrapped.

A provision in the earlier draft of the bill imposing the death penalty for “aggravated” homosexuality was replaced with a life sentence.

Among those who could be charged with “aggravated homosexuality” are “serial offenders,” and anyone who is HIV-positive and found to have had sexual relations with a person of the same sex.


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