The Global Heroes


2nd May 2023 By The Global Heroes Aid and Policy

An anti-LGBT+ law in Uganda has been revised, but the heavy punishments for same-sex relationships and the "promotion" of homosexuality remain. The revised phrasing makes it clear that simply engaging in sexual intercourse is a criminal rather than "being homosexual." However, the law continues to impose a life sentence for "acts of homosexuality" and a capital offense provision that could result in the death penalty for repeat offenders for "aggravated homosexuality." The bill also contains a clause on the "promotion" of homosexuality, which gay rights organizations find concerning. Any individual or group that "knowingly promotes homosexuality" faces a punishment of up to 20 years in jail and a ten-year ban. 

The reporting obligation, which entails a five-year jail sentence, is now only applicable to alleged sexual offenses against minors and other vulnerable individuals. The president will now receive the measure again and decide whether or not to sign it into law. Like much of East Africa, Uganda has a sizable homophobic population.

In this country, where Yoweri Museveni has controlled with an iron grip since 1986 and where persecution against civil society, attorneys, and activists has intensified recently, the law has widespread public support and opposing reactions are uncommon. Museveni has been advised not to publish this language by the UN, Amnesty International, the US, the UK, and the EU. 

Uganda was forewarned by the White House of probable economic "consequences."

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