The Parliament voted on this law in March, 389 MPs were in favor, only two were against. In April, the president submitted the draft law for re-examination, and it was slightly softened – initially it was intended to punish only for confessing to homosexuality.
It now carries up to 20 years in prison for “recruiting, promoting and financing activities” of the same sex, and up to 14 years for “attempting to aggravate homosexuality”.
There is a risk of life imprisonment or even the death penalty if a homosexual person has sex with a person under the age of 18, or one of the couple is infected with an incurable disease, including HIV, during sex.
“We have passed legislation to protect the sanctity of the family,” Ugandan Parliament Speaker Anita Aneta Amonga tweeted.
The United Nations and the United States are warning that HIV progress in Uganda will be seriously threatened as more people do not seek help for fear of attacks and punishment.
Washington is considering “imposing sanctions and restricting entry into the United States to anyone involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption.”
The first victim of US sanctions is Ugandan parliament member Asman Bsal Irwa – his visa was cancelled. Irva told the BBC: “No one is bothered by two adults having gay sex in private. The law will not go after those who do their business in private. But if you try to do it publicly and then recruit others to do things your way, that’s the problem.”
There are 69 countries in the world where homosexual relations are punishable by prison, and half of them are in Africa. However, there are exceptions – South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Seychelles, Mozambique and Lesotho have legalized same-sex relationships.
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