Uganda Plans to Re-introduce its Inhuman 'Kill the Gays' Bill
Should the bill be passed in parliament, homosexuality will be punished by death.
Uganda is yet another African country with some of the most discriminatory laws as it pertains to members of the LGBTQ community. According to the Daily Mail, the government plans to bring back to parliament a bill called "Kill the Gays" which was rejected five years ago based on a technicality. With Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's support, the government intends to not only punish homosexuality with the death penalty but also criminalize those who are involved in its "promotion and recruitment". There has been tremendous backlash and condemnation of the news on social media.
Many activists and members of the LGBTQ community have expressed concerns that the bill will result in increased targeted violence and hate crimes. Pepe Julian Onziema, from Sexual Minorities Uganda, said that already three gay men and one transgender woman had been murdered in homophobic attacks this year alone.
Back in 2014, Uganda's constitutional court rejected the controversial bill on a technicality because it reportedly included the death penalty. However, the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, is certain that it will be passed successfully this time. In a statement, Lokodo said that, "Homosexuality is not natural to the Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that." Lokodo went on to add that, "Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalizes the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalized. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence."
Although in the past, international outrage over anti-gay laws has led to countries including the United States of America, Netherlands, Norway and Denmark as well as entities such as the World Bank, reducing their financial aid to the East African country, the Ugandan government says that is prepared for the backlash and will not "bow to a people who want to impose a culture which is foreign to us."