Members changed large parts of the original bill, but of the 389 present in parliament, only one person supported the motion.
The bill now goes to President Yoweri Museveni – who can either veto it or sign it into law. In a recent speech, he said he supported the proposal, but also indicated that he did not think it was a priority issue and preferred to maintain good relations with donors and investors in the West.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk calls on the president to halt the law.
“The approval of this discriminatory law – perhaps the worst of its kind in the world – is a deeply troubling development,” reads a statement from Turk.
Amnesty is also urging the president to reject the motion, which it has called a flagrant attack on LGBT people.
Vaguely worded, this vague law criminalizes even those who “promote” homosexuality, says Tigir Chagota, Amnesty International’s director for Eastern and Southern Africa.
life in prison
Uganda is notoriously intolerant of homosexuality. Homosexuality was already punishable by life imprisonment under colonial-era laws – but this is not considered sufficient.
The bill was introduced in February, and aims to punish “promotion, incitement and funding” related to LGBTQ activities. However, it is not yet clear what the penalty will be for the last minute changes.
Even “attempted homosexuality” becomes a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Homosexuality is illegal in more than 30 of the 54 countries in Africa.
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