Uganda drafts new anti-gay law
Uganda will propose a new anti-gay law on Wednesday as conspiracy theories accusing shady international forces of “propaganda of homosexuality” flooded social media, the speaker of the country’s parliament said.
According to an audio recording available to AFP, Annette Anita Amin said at a prayer meeting on Tuesday that “tomorrow we are going to introduce an anti-gay bill.”
Among also posted a video of the meeting on her Twitter account, writing, “We will zealously defend our cherished values and culture.”
Western governments and aid agencies operating in Uganda are regularly accused of “homosexual propaganda” in the East African country and have repeatedly defended the LGBTQ community from attacks related to their identity.
In recent weeks, internet conspiracy theories linking child sexual abuse in boarding schools with consensual same-sex acts between adults have reached a fever pitch.
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Last month, the Ugandan government set up a committee to investigate alleged “advancement” of gay, lesbian and transgender rights in schools.
In 2014, a Ugandan court overturned a bill passed by MPs and signed by President Yoweri Museveni that provided for a life sentence for homosexual relationships.
The bill sparked global outrage as some donor countries cut aid to the country after it passed through parliament.
According to an audio clip listened to by AFP, Anim said, “We want to thank our homosexual propagandists for the socio-economic development they have brought to the country… but we don’t appreciate the morality they are killing.”
“We don’t need their money, we need our culture.”
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Frank Mugisha, executive director of Uganda’s leading gay rights organization, which was suspended by authorities last year, told AFP that he had already received many calls from LGBTQ people about the proposed law.
“Members of the community live in fear,” he said.
“Homosexual acts are already illegal and the new law will mean more harassment and discrimination against people who are already vulnerable.”
Under colonial-era laws, homosexual activity is illegal in Uganda, but there has never been a conviction for consensual same-sex activity since independence from Britain in 1962.
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