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What The New Anti-Gay Law Means For You, Convicts To Serve  Life Time Imprisonment

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Homosexuals, landlords, brothel proprietors, chief executives of pro-gay organisations, journalists and film directors face imprisonment or fines, ranging from Shs5m to Shs100m, if the new Anti-Homosexuality Bill is enacted in its current form. Prepared by Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament Asuman Basalirwa, the Bill gazetted last Friday seeks to criminalise homosexuality as well as its promotion and financing. Its penalties overall are comparably lesser than those specified in the minister David Bahati-sponsored anti-gay law that court quashed in 2014 on grounds that it was enacted without quorum.

If the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Law is passed in its present form, homosexuals, landlords, brothel owners, chief executives of pro-gay organizations, journalists, and film makers risk jail or penalties ranging from Sh5 million to Sh100 million.
The Law, which was written by Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament Asuman Basalirwa and was published last Friday, aims to make homosexuality illegal as well as the funding and promotion of it.
Overall, its penalties are less severe than those included in the anti-gay bill pushed by Minister David Bahati, which a court overturned in 2014 due to the fact that it was passed without a quorum.

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For instance, the new law imposes a maximum 10-year prison sentence for offenses of homosexuality and attempted or aggravated homosexuality, which in the previous version included a life sentence.

It has not yet been decided when the Private Member’s Bill will be introduced. This comes after the House granted MP Basalirwa authorization to write the legislation last week.

The Bill’s four main goals are to outlaw same-sex relationships, improve Uganda’s ability to cope with internal and international challenges to the heterosexual family, maintain traditional and cultural values, and shield children and young people from homosexual and lesbian practices.

Mr Basalirwa, the designated mover, says that the Bill is essential to fix shortcomings in the Criminal Code Act that allows for unnatural sex, but “lacks restrictions on procuring, promoting, spreading literature and other pantographic materials addressing the crimes of homosexuality”.

He states in the preamble rationale that “a statute to expand offenses linked to homosexuality and explicit measures for charging, investigating, prosecuting, convicting, and punishing of offenders” are necessary.

The Law stipulates a Sh100 million punishment and the deregistration of the CEO of any organization that actively promotes homosexuality, whether by the publication of materials, financial support, hosting, or collaboration.

Although landlords who rent out their properties to gays risk serving a year in prison, those who operate brothels for homosexuals face a seven-year prison sentence.

Anybody found guilty of executing or negotiating a same-sex marriage faces a 10-year sentence while those found guilty of attempted or real solicitation of homosexuality face a five-year jail sentence.

If found guilty under the Bill, an editor, journalist, publisher, or director of a motion picture who divulges the name of a gay victim without the victim’s consent may be fined up to Sh5m.

The new legislation also provides judges broad authority to mandate protection for a youngster who is suspected of being gay and to decide how much money an offender must pay a victim of homosexuality.

The proposed legislation states, in part, “A magistrate’s court may, upon application by any person, issue a protection order, if satisfied that a kid is likely to participate in acts of homosexuality,” without outlining the criteria for determining a child’s susceptibility.

How the anti-gay legislation in Uganda was defeated in 2014

It allows for the extradition of a gay criminal in the case of foreigners.

The drafters of the gazetted Bill claim that its remedies include a ban on same-sex marriage, the criminalization of homosexual behavior and associated behaviors, the cessation of the promotion of homosexuality, and the protection and payment of damages to victims.

According to the proposed rule, homosexuality is defined as “same-gender or same-sex sexual actions,” which is a wide definition that includes dating, having sex, and using goods for gay and lesbian sex illegally.

In an interview yesterday, Mr. Robert Kirenga, the executive director of the National Coalition of Uganda Human Rights Defenders, said that the government’s pursuit of homosexuals and lesbians was out of step with other pressing issues that the nation is facing.

In a telephone conversation, Mr. Kirenga said, “Among the governance concerns, the least should be what we do in our private. I would rather if MPs would concentrate on issues like corruption and how it effect human rights.”

“If LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer sexual orientation) is such a big problem in schools and how kids are recruited, then they [government] should task those who gave them [the schools promoting the practice] a license to operate and the school head teachers on how that is happening in their schools,” he continued.

According to Rev Canon Aaron Mwesigye, the director of Ethics In-charge of Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity, marriage in Uganda is defined as being between a man and a woman.

Asserting that “laws in our nation cannot operate alone,” he stated, “I applaud [MP] Basalirwa and the Legislature for [going to propose the anti-homosexuality bill].” He also called for further actions that were not detailed.

The man of God also said that frequent conferences are planned to instruct family heads in parenting foundations so that values against homosexuality, which he referred to as a “vice,” are instilled in kids from an early age.

It is easier to construct strong children than to heal morally damaged gay men and women, he continued, so you need to start at the home level and educate your kids so they may be able to avoid homosexuality in the future whether they are in schools or universities.

Leaders of several churches and Parliament have pushed for the reintroduction of a legislation to address homosexuality.

The United Nations lists 77 nations that have laws against homosexual and lesbian behavior, including Uganda.

After Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said last month that laws criminalizing homosexuality were “sin… and an injustice” while on a joint visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, the topic of sexual orientation has recently caused a rift among clergy and believers. Pope Francis is the leader of the 1.3 billion Catholics.

After voting on February 9 to allow priests to bless same-sex couples getting married in civil ceremonies, the Church of England, which other Anglican provinces are descended from, threw an explosive into the conversation.

Archbishop Kaziimba of the Province of Church of Uganda, which in 2008 split from the Episcopal Church of America, as the Anglican Church there is known, over the consecration of a gay man as a bishop, responded quickly, claiming that the Canterbury decision was in opposition to both the Bible and God.

He said, “As Church of Uganda, we cannot agree that [choice to bless same-sex couples] is incorrect. What God labels sin cannot be blessed.

The Inter-Religious Council, Uganda’s top forum for religious leaders, issued a statement in response to the resistance, urging the government to pass legislation like the anti-homosexuality statute that had been overturned.

President Museveni was the chief guest at an event on February 16 to honor Janani Luwum Day, which was named after the then-Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, and Boga Zaire who was killed under Idi Amin’s rule. Archbishop Kaziimba pleaded with Museveni to reconsider and resign the [Act] you previously signed against homosexuality.

The President avoided explicitly answering the question but chastised the West for pressuring dissident nations to “normalize” what he termed their “deviations”.

“We won’t pursue lost folks, we promise. These Europeans are not typical; they are unreceptive. He said, “They (Western nations) don’t listen, they don’t respect other people’s ideas, and they want to convert the abnormal into normal and push it on others. We have been warning them that this homosexuality issue is not something that you should normalize and celebrate. We won’t consent.

He also said that, during the December 2016 US-Africa Leaders Meeting in Washington, DC, he had differed with US government representatives on the subject of homosexuality.

Speaker Anita Among responded, “We… appreciate our promoters of homosexuality for the socio-economic development they have brought to the country, but we don’t appreciate the morals (sic) that they are killing,” weeks after the Janani Luwum Day celebrations when Ugandan clerics renewed their call for a specific law to stop homosexuality during an ecumenical service at Parliament.

“We don’t like the Ugandan values that they are eradicating, and we don’t appreciate the financial support they are providing to undermine our culture. We don’t need their money; we need our cultures, she said last week, adding, “We are bringing a Law on anti-homosexuality as Parliament that makes the laws in our nation. and I want to ask the religious authorities to attend this time to verify who is who.

In order to allow Ugandans to know which of their politicians support and oppose homosexuality, she also said that a vote on the new Bill, which MP Basalirwa has already authored, will be conducted by show of hands.

In 2013, the government passed the country’s first anti-gay law in response to allegations of foreign sponsorship of the movement. Similar accusations have reappeared. In a widely circulated video clip, a man named Elisha Mukisa claims that homosexuals recruited him and other students, who were then individually paid Shs5m for appearing in an internet upload of gay pornography.

As Mr. Mukisa made his allegations against the Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a pro-gay civil society organization, public, the site was scrambled.

The old Anti-Homosexuality Act was repealed by the Constitutional Court just before the President left for an official visit to the United States. Among those who petitioned the court were Fox Odoi, a lawyer for President Museveni, and Andrew Mwenda, a journalist who later became a friend of the president.

Pro-gay protesters accosted him in American hotels and on the streets. Upon his return to Kampala, Mr. Museveni advised lawmakers considering restoring the repealed legislation to “go-slow” and warned that doing so would have negative effects for Uganda’s foreign policy.

The need for the government and educational institutions to take action has increased, nevertheless, with the passage of time and reports of escalating gay recruitment primarily targeting kids, as well as Mr. Mukisa openly identifying as one victim recruited from a city school at age 17.

In a report from January 2023 that was leaked, the National NGO Bureau—the official watchdog of the civil society sector—named many Groups that it said were suspected of supporting LGBTQI+ rights in the nation.

Janet Museveni, the minister of education, made the announcement while on a visit to King’s College Budo, where reports of students engaging in homosexual behavior first arose in January. She also promised to punish anybody found guilty of encouraging homosexuality and lesbianism.

fresh bottle of old wine?

• A ten-year prison sentence for attempted or actual aggravated homosexuality

• A Sh100 million fine for any organization that supports homosexuality by the publication of literature, financial support, hosting, or collaboration.

• 5 years in jail for attempting to or procuring homosexuality by threat

• A ten-year prison sentence for arranging or carrying out a same-sex marriage

• Compensation for victims of homosexuality will be decided by the courts

• A Sh5 million punishment on any editors, journalists, publishers, or producers of films that reveal the identify of a victim of homosexuality without authorization

• Landlords who rent to homosexuals risk a year in jail, while those who operate brothels for gays face a 7-year sentence.

• Courts may impose protective measures on a youngster who is at-risk of homosexual behavior.

a list of the penalties

Punishment for Offense

Sexual orientation Living in jail ten years in prison

Intensive Homosexuality Living in prison 10 years behind bars

Intentional Homosexuality 7 years in prison 2-year sentence

aggravated homosexuality as a goal Living in prison ten years in prison

supporting gay behavior seven years in prison 2-year sentence

arranging a same-sex union Living in prison ten years in prison

arranging same-sex unions 10 years in prison and a 7-year sentence

support for homosexuality five to seven years in prison, a fine of one hundred million shillings, or both

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