Uganda’s Parliament on Tuesday passed one of the world’s most restrictive bills on the LGBT community, quite literally called the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill”. Ugandan law already considered homosexual acts to be illegal, however introduces several more restrictions, including the death penalty in cases of what they term as “aggravated homosexuality”. “Aggravated homosexuality” is defined as “homosexual acts committed by anyone infected with H.I.V. or involving children, disabled people or anyone drugged against their will”. Most of these things are already crimes in Uganda’s legal system, however the bill adds the death penalty if these crimes are committed with someone of the same-sex.
The bill also introduces harsher penalties for homosexual acts. People found to have had gay sex will receive life in prison, meanwhile homosexual relationships carry a 7 year prison term. It further illegalizes simply identifying as gay, emphasizing the “duty” of the community to report LGBT individuals. This provision of the bill has created widespread fear of blackmail, as threats begin to emerge in essence threatening to report someone as gay if the blackmailer does not receive money.
Individuals, businesses, publishers, and writers found to be “promoting homosexuality” or advocating for gay rights face a large fine of 1 billion Ugandan shillings, about 264,000$ USD.
The bill has yet to go fully into effect, as it heads to President Yoweri Museveni’s desk to receive approval. However President Museveni has long been an anti-gay advocate, so it is likely the bill will pass once it reaches him.