The United Nations and United States on Wednesday have condemned the bill passed by Ugandan lawmakers that illegalizes LGBTQ+.
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights asked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni not to sign the bill passed by lawmakers on Tuesday. Volker Türk called the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2023 “draconian,” saying it would have negative repercussions on society as a whole and violates the nation’s constitution.
“If signed into law by the President, it will render lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Uganda criminals simply for existing, for being who they are. It could provide carte blanche for the systematic violation of nearly all of their human rights and serve to incite people against each other,” Volker said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the bill, would “undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation.”
According to the bill, the death penalty can be invoked for cases involving “aggravated homosexuality” – a broad term used in the legislation to describe sex acts committed without consent or under duress, against children, people with mental or physical disabilities, by a “serial offender,” or involving incest.
The new bill has wide public support in the highly conservative and religious East African nation, where anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is deeply entrenched.
However, it has drawn strong criticism from civil society groups and LGBTQ+ activists. “It is another way of using the law to punish people who cause no harm but for being who they are,” Pan Africa ILGA tweeted.