Uganda Parliament passes life in jail anti-gay law
The controversial anti-gay law, which punishes certain homosexual acts with life imprisonment, was passed by the Ugandan lawmakers on Friday.
Zee Media Bureau/Tarun Khanna
Kampala: The controversial anti-gay law, which punishes certain homosexual acts with life imprisonment, was passed by the Ugandan lawmakers on Friday.
The bill, which was first introduced in 2010 was highly condemned as it included death penalty. However, the death penalty has been removed from the revised bill passed in the Parliament yesterday.
According to the Uganda`s Parliament spokeswoman, the newly-passed anti-gay law calls for life imprisonment as the penalty for gay sex involving an HIV-infected person, acts with minors and the disabled, as well as repeated sex offences among consenting adults. Moreover, the lawmakers passed the bill unanimously, with no one voicing an objection to it.
Although in the past Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had spoken in slightly disrespecting manner of gays, he has softened his position on the matter, saying he is only opposed to gays who appear to promote themselves. For the bill to be enacted Museveni must sign the bill within 30 days.
Ugandan gay activists have condemned the bill, saying it will open a new era of fear and prosecution. First gay pride parade was held in 2012 in Uganda wherein several people joined street marches to support human rights.
As per Amnesty International, nearly 38 countries in Africa consider homosexuality as a taboo and criminalise homosexual activities.