Ugandan legislators repeal anti-gay legislation but keep death sentence for HIV-positive sex.


The Ugandan parliament passed a revised version of the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 on Tuesday.

Although gay conduct would still be prohibited under the new proposed rules, just identifying as a homosexual would not.

Some of the bill’s worst clauses remain, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which includes offenses like having sex with a minor, having intercourse while HIV positive, and incest.

In late April, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni handed back to parliament a measure that suggested 20 years in prison for just identifying as LGBTQ+.

Museveni has asked the legislature to modify and clarify aspects of the bill.

Speaker Anita Annet Among presided over a session in Kampala, Uganda’s Parliament, on March 9 during which an anti-homosexuality bill was presented. The new rule distinguishes between persons who just identify as LGBTQ+ and those who engage in actual homosexual activity. In Uganda, participating in same-sex partnerships is already punishable by life in prison.

Under the updated version of the law, anybody who does not act on their “deviant proclivity” is no longer susceptible to legal penalty. The first version of the bill advocated incarcerating everyone who identified as LGBTQ+.

“The bill is still restrictive; it isn’t getting any better,” advocate Richard Lusimbo told CNN on Tuesday.

Legislators also adopted a proposed amendment to the bill that would change the compulsory “duty to report” homosexual acts.

Legislator Robina Gureme Rwakoojo stated in parliament that the amended legislation requires residents to report such crimes only if they are “against children and vulnerable people.”

Failure to report this is punishable by a fine or six months in prison under the law.

On Tuesday, Fox Odoi-Oywelowo was the lone lawmaker to come out against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023, calling it a violation of human rights. President Museveni now has the bill in his hands and may sign it into law or reject it as he sees fit.

Western nations and human rights organizations have strongly condemned the legislation, and scientists and academicians have urged Museveni to reject it.

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, however, said last month that Uganda’s president does not oppose the proposal and plans to sign it into law soon.


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