A group of Ugandan mothers who have LGBT children have written a letter to President Yoweri Museveni urging him not to sign into law a new draft law under which people who are revealed as being gay could be sent to prison.
In the letter published in local media, the parents said they’d watched in trepidation as what they called “religious fundamentalists, elected officials and anti-gay lobbyists” had demeaned and dehumanised their children.
Homosexual acts are already against the law in Uganda but the new bill introduces many new criminal offences – including making it illegal not to report people in same-sex relationships.
Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda but a bill passed by parliament last week introduced many new criminal offences.
As well as making merely identifying as gay illegal for the first time, friends, family and members of the community would have a duty to report individuals in same-sex relationships to the authorities.
Amnesty International has called the bill, which criminalises same-sex between consenting adults “appalling”, “ambiguous” and “vaguely worded”.
“This deeply repressive legislation will institutionalise discrimination, hatred, and prejudice against LGBTI people – including those who are perceived to be LGBTI – and block the legitimate work of civil society, public health professionals, and community leaders,” said Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s director for East and Southern Africa.
It has also been condemned by both the UK’s Africa Minister Andrew Mitchell and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The White House has warned Uganda of possible economic repercussions if the new law comes into force.