Ugandan president signs anti-LGBTQ+ law with death penalty for same-sex acts
Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, has signed into law the world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ+ bill, which allows the death penalty for homosexual acts.
The move immediately drew condemnation from many Ugandans as well as widespread international outrage.
Early on Monday, the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, Anita Annet Among, released a statement on social media confirming Museveni had assented to the law first passed by MPs in March. It imposes the death penalty or life imprisonment for certain same-sex acts, up to 20 years in prison for “recruitment, promotion and funding” of same-sex “activities”, and anyone convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” faces a 14-year sentence.
Among tweeted on Monday morning: “The president … has assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Act. As the parliament of Uganda, we have answered the cries of our people. We have legislated to protect the sanctity of [the] family.
“We have stood strong to defend our culture and [the] aspirations of our people,” she said, thanking Museveni for his “steadfast action in the interest of Uganda”.
Martin Ssempa, one of the main backers of the bill, presented it as a victory against the US and Europe and suggested Uganda needed to push back against groups working to tackle HIV. He said: “The president has shown great courage to defy bullying of the Americans and Europeans. That bullying we shall not give you money. They intimidate and threaten you.”
In a joint statement, the heads of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNAids and the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) reacted with “deep concern” and said progress on tackling Aids and HIV was “now in grave jeopardy”.
Museveni claimed in March that his government was attempting to resist western efforts to “normalise” what he called “deviations”.
“The western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by trying to impose their practices on other people,” he said.