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Uganda Criminalizes Being Part of the LGBTQ+ Community

In a Bill recently passed by Uganda’s MPs, the East African country has made it illegal to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Upon approval from 387 out of a total of 389 MPs, the Bill was sent to the President to confirm his acceptance. While his verdict is still awaited, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - Volker Türk- urged the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, to prevent the Bill from becoming an enforceable law.

The ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ targets the LGBTQ+ community and makes it illegal for anyone to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. It intends to keep the community in check and can even penalize them in extreme cases. They can be sentenced to life in prison or, worse, be given the death penalty.

Robina Rwakoojo, the Chairperson for legal and parliamentary affairs in Uganda, presented the Bill and read that “anyone who commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality and is liable, on conviction, to suffer death.”

The legislation of Uganda is the harshest when it comes to anti-gay laws. Human Rights Activists worldwide were sent into a frenzy when news of this Bill’s passing broke. They have been protesting as there is an increase in the rise of potential attacks against anyone who isn’t heterosexual.

Furthermore, citizens are receiving threats asking them to disclose their sexual orientation. The only way that they will be exempted from this is if they pay a certain amount of money. Family, friends, and acquaintances of any member associated with this community are being told to report them to the government upon knowledge.

This Bill not only criminalizes being different but also makes it impossible for individuals to live peaceful and trusting lives. If they do identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, they will be punished and targeted potentially by most people they know.

Members of this community have unfortunately been humiliated, ignored, and ostracized worldwide for centuries. However, criminalizing their sexual orientations by making them pay with their lives is doubtlessly taking it too far and must be stopped at all costs.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is viewed as a blatant violation of fundamental human rights and a potential cause for igniting even more violence against the LGBTQ+ community.

Amnesty International has observed that this Bill is vaguely worded and unclear on its instructions and rules. It has called this Bill “appalling” while also saying its ambiguous nature will lead to wrongful execution and prosecution.

The Legislation has been called termed “hate legislation” by human rights activists all around the world, and the passing of this Bill is seen as the latest difficulty for homosexuals in Uganda. Before this, the predominantly Christian country had already labeled homosexuality as a criminal offense.

Supporters of the LGBTQ+ community are pouring in with empathy and backlash toward the Bill from around the world. Moreover, activists are optimistic that though this is a dark day for the Ugandans, it will pass, and hope will replace all the darkness.

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Tags: humanrights Africa pride lgbtq Uganda


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