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Statement on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has assented to the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill, after signing it into law on Monday 29 May 2023.

Click here to sign the statement

This new law characterises Ugandan LGBTQI+ people as perpetrators of illegal acts, including ‘aggravated homosexuality’, for which the punishment includes the death penalty. ‘Aggravated homosexuality’ places those who are convicted of homosexuality multiple times or who have a history of ‘multiple offenses’ (i.e., those who are convicted of having consensual same-sex relations on more than one occasion), those who engage in consensual same-sex sexual acts while HIV-positive, and those who engage in consensual same-sex sexual acts with those who are disabled or mentally ill in the same bracket as those who are convicted of same-sex sexual assault or coercion, rape, incest, and statutory rape.

This regressive and hateful legislation not only violates the fundamental rights of LGBTQI+ Ugandans, but also perpetuates discrimination, prejudice, and violence against the LGBTQ+ community, those who support and love them, and also organisations which provide critical services to those who are LGBTQI+ (including health services). This legislation helps to fuel a climate of fear, hatred and overt discrimination, putting the lives of LGBTQI+ Ugandans at risk. There has been evidence of an uptick in violence towards LGBTQI+ people in the country already.

This legislation also affects those who are not LGBTQI+, as the law extends to those who are supportive of any LGBTQI+ person with punishments for “promotion of homosexuality” (max. imprisonment for 20 years), performing or attending a same-sex marriage (max. imprisonment for 10 years), lessors who lease premises to people who are LGBTQI+ (max. imprisonment for 10 years), and those who ‘aid and abet’ homosexuality by failing to report an offence involving a ‘vulnerable person’ (max. imprisonment for 5 years). This law forces LGBTQI+ people and those who are supportive to live in secrecy and to face constant threats to their safety and well-being.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act has been fostered and supported by conservative groups and evangelical religious groups since the first failed iteration in 2014 – How U.S. Evangelicals Helped Homophobia Flourish in Africa, Exclusive: US Christian Right pours more than $50m into Africa, Christian fundamentalism lies behind harsh new anti-LGBTIQ bill in Uganda, The U.S. connection to Uganda’s ‘kill the gays’ bill. For the government of Uganda to perpetrate these grave human rights abuses in the name of religious beliefs is contrary to the very message of inclusion, love and acceptance that almost every religion espouses, and to claim that LGBTQI+ rights are a ‘Western Imposition’ while courting Western Evangelical mores and money is contradictory and hypocritical.

Convening For Equality (CFE), a community of LGBTIQ+ members, leaders and strategic allies for equality in Uganda, has shared a statement highlighting this law as “clearly designed to distract ordinary Ugandans from the fact that day to day, Parliamentarians offer no solution to the many crises they face attempting to support their families and loved ones. This includes pressing concerns such as rising commodity prices, significant unemployment, failing education and healthcare systems and other catastrophic effects of grinding and unrelenting poverty. Instead of addressing those pressing governance challenges, parliament and the President are choosing dangerous diversionary tactics to inflame hatred and sow division.”

We condemn the passing of this bill outright, and encourage all of our members, friends, and supporters to condemn this act. We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda, and call upon the international community, including governments, organizations, and individuals, to stand with LGBTQI+ Ugandans and condemn the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act unequivocally. We strongly urge the international community to exert diplomatic and economic pressure on the Ugandan government to reverse this harmful legislation, and to instead focus on fostering inclusion.




GIN-SSOGIE | South Africa/Global

Equal Namibia (Namibia Equal Rights Movement) | Namibia

Marline Oluchi | Nigeria

Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) | South Africa

United for a purpose Brigade | Seychelles

African Queer Youth Initiative | Nigeria

Reverend Jide Macaulay, House of Rainbow | England, UK

Seipone Kefilwe Boitshwarelo | Botswana

GWHREI | Nigeria

Davis Mac-Iyalla | Ghana

Al-Ghurbaah Foundation | South Africa

Carou Labonne | Mauritius

Cape Town Unitarian Church | South Africa

African Focus For Youth Development (AFFYD) | Nigeria

TULINAM | Namibia

The People’s Matrix Association | Lesotho

Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ | Oregon, southern Washington, and southern Idaho, USA

Rev. Jan Bjarne Sødal | Norway

Evans | Norway

Shemah Koleinu | South Africa

Frank | Mozambique

Rabbi Greg Alexander | South Africa

Temple Israel Cape Town | South Africa

Teboho G. Klaas | South Africa

IQAMAH (Indonesia Queer Muslims and Allies) | Indonesia

KP Consortium of Kenya | Kenya

Universal Church of Love Inc | Australia

Negn Media | Ethiopia

Siosaia Joey Joleen Mataele | Tonga

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