Mon, 02 Oct 2023

Kampala [Uganda], May 30 (ANI): President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni has signed a new law, one of the world's toughest anti-homosexuality measures, drawing widspread criticism from within the country and internationally, Al Jazeera reported.

Anita Among, Speaker of Parliament, said in a Twitter post, "I now encourage the duty bearers under the law to execute the mandate bestowed upon them in the Anti-Homosexuality Act.""The People of Uganda have spoken, and it is your duty to now enforce the law in a fair, steadfast, and firm manner," the post read.

Same-sex relationships were prohibited in more than 30 African nations, including Uganda, but the new law goes considerably further in its discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, Al Jazeera reported.

It mandates a 20-year term for "promoting" homosexuality and prescribes for death penalty for certain behaviour, such as engaging in gay sex when HIV positive.

The approval of the law comes despite opposition from Western governments, businesses, and human rights activists, Al Jazeera reported.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 was one of six pieces of legislation that Museveni's office confirmed the president signed into law on Sunday.

Earlier this month, lawmakers passed a new draft of the legislation, pledging to resist any outside interference in their efforts to protect Ugandan's values Western immorality, Al Jazeera reported further.

The amended version said that while "engaging in acts of homosexuality" would be an offence punishable with life imprisonment, identifying as gay would not be criminalised.

Pepe Julian Onziema, a human rights activist, as quoted by Al Jazeera from Kampala, said that he is "horrified" for himself, his community, and the state of human rights in the country.

"This act is a repeat of legislation that already exists, only this one takes it a notch higher in legalising hate, homophobia, transphobia and alienating a section of Uganda's citizenry, so that worries me on many levels," he said.

"This makes the already existing fear worse. It has triggered a lot of traumas of many LGBTIQ community members who have faced violence even before this law and in the whole passing of this law, there's already been violence. This has already caused a lot of paranoia, fear and people reliving traumas of what this could mean," Onziema said as quoted by Al Jazeera. (ANI)

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