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Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 tabled for first reading

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Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 tabled for first reading

The Member of Parliament representing Bugiri Municipality Hon Asuman Basalirwa has on Thursday afternoon introduced before the house, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 for the first reading.

The Speaker of Parliament Anitah Among has since referred the bill to the committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, instructing the members to listen to all parties before returning it to the house.

“I want the committee to ensure sufficient public hearing of this bill. Nothing should be hidden,” she said.

She also noted that MPs will vote by tally to avoid excuses of quorum.

“As I have already said, people will vote by tally. We will call the person and the person will vote. We do not want the technicalities of saying there is no quorum. This is the time you are going to show us whether you are a homo or not,” the Speaker warned.

The BILL

Objectives

The bill seeks to prohibit any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex and the promotion or recognition of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.

It also seeks to strengthen the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional, heterosexual family. This legislation further recognizes the fact that same-sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic.

According to the mover, the bill is also meant to protect the cherished culture of the people of Uganda, legal, religious, and traditional family values of Ugandans against the acts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda, and protecting children and youth who are made vulnerable to sexual abuse through homosexuality and related acts.

Existing law

This proposed legislation is designed to address the gaps in the provisions of other laws in Uganda, for example, the Penal Code Act, Cap. 120. The Penal Code Act, Cap. 120 has no comprehensive provision catering for anti-homosexuality, the mover argues.

“It focuses on unnatural offences under section 145 and lacks provisions for penalising the procurement, promoting, and disseminating literature and other pantographic materials concerning the offences of homosexuality. As a result, there is need for a legislation to enhance offences relating to homosexuality and clear provisions for charging, investigating, prosecuting, convicting and sentencing of offenders,” he argues.

The bill also seeks to supplement the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the Penal Code Act, Cap. 120 by criminalizing same-sex sexual acts and related acts.

Remedies

The bill prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex;

Prohibit and penalize homosexual behavior and related practices;

Prohibit the promotion of homosexuality; and

Protect and provide assistance and payment of compensation to victims of homosexuality.

The offence of Homosexuality

1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if the person—

  • penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption;
  • uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate or stimulate the sexual organ of a person of the same sex;
  • touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality;
  • holds out as a lesbian, gay, transgender, a queer or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female.

(2) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for ten years.

Read the Bill in full here;

Sarah K. Biryomumaisho is a Multimedia journalist (Broadcast & Writing) with 11 years of experience. She holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute and a Certificate in Media Management from Women in News. She completed a Course in Wikimedia in 2020, making her one of the very few Wikipedia Editors in the country. She also has a certificate in Gender Justice Reporting from The International Women's Media Foundation, IWMF. She has worked with a number of media houses including 6 Radio stations, most recently Galaxy fm 100.2 & Radio 4. She has worked with Andariya Magazine as a writer. Sarah worked as a Digital Communications consultant for the newly revived Uganda Airlines and is also a Digital enthusiast. She owns a Media Organization called TheUgPost that publishes in Uganda and has a global reach. Twitter; https://twitter.com/BiryomumaishoB

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