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Uganda Passes Anti LGBTQ Citizens Bill

By Charlotte Robinson, March 23, 2023

The Uganda’s parliament has passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill & it's now up to President Yoweri Museveni to sign the bill into law. Matuba Mahlatjie, Outright International Communications & Media Manager stated, "This bill is an undisguised assault on the fundamental human rights of LGBTQ people, their friends, family members & other allies. It even criminalizes journalists, publishers & human rights defenders who recognize LGBTQ people’s rights, landlords who rent premises to them & development partners & donors who support their advocacy in pursuit of full equality. If signed into law, members of the LGBTIQ community will face losing their jobs, being evicted from their homes & losing access to affirming healthcare services. People convicted under this legislation will be placed on record as sex offenders which they’d have to disclose. Under this law, the death penalty has been reserved for so-called “aggravated” homosexuality, including for “serial offenders” who are convicted repeatedly for consensual same-sex acts. The passage of the bill follows the government’s closure of the human rights organization Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) in August 2022 & the refusal to register several other organizations that work to advance LGBTQ people’s human rights. The Ugandan government also threatened in February 2023 to close the UN Human Rights office in the country, seeking to silence the voices of allies. The build-up to the passing of this bill was infused with homophobic rhetoric which further makes LGBTIQ people vulnerable to violence, exclusion & isolation, as our partners on the ground report. Outright calls on President Museveni to immediately veto the bill. We pledge our support to Ugandan activists who sacrifice their safety to defend human rights & we call on more support to ensure these activists’ safety in their quest to prevent this odious bill from becoming law.” 

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