Parliament Passes the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009

By hrapf
In December 20, 2013
On Blog

Uganda’s 9th Parliament passed the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 on December 20th 2013, amidst calls from civil society and other stakeholders for the bill not to be passed.

Apparently, the bill was passed when parliament had no quorum and it was not on the order paper according to the Prime Minister Hon. Amama Mbazi, who condemned the action.

The contentious provision on death sentence was removed and replaced with life sentences for any form of penetration or sexual stimulation of a person of the same sex, as well as for “aggravated” homosexuality, which would apply to “serial offenders” among others.

In its current form, the bill also criminalizes “promotion” of homosexuality. Human rights groups and other organizations that seek to promote tolerance and put an end to violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as organizations providing other social services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people could easily be shut down, and their directors and key staff could face prison sentences according to the approved bill.

If the president signs it into law, the bill will add to Article 145 of the current penal code already punishing “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” a colonial period term understood to refer to sex between men, with life imprisonment. The new text would extend the punishment to sexual relations between women. Research conducted by HRAPF has however shown that laws criminalising same sex relations in section 145 of the penal code are used not to prosecute but to persecute suspected LGBTI persons. The research report is due to be launched on January 15th 2014.

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