Diane Abbott: Uganda’s anti-gay bill is ‘dreadful news’ especially just after Nelson Mandela’s death

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Labour MP Diane Abbott has spoken out to condemn today’s passage of an anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda.

Uganda’s Parliament today passed the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill which stipulates long jail sentences for those convicted of same-sex sexual activity.

The bill also makes it a crime punishable by a prison sentence, not to report same-sex sexual activities to the police.

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington told PinkNews.co.uk: “This really is dreadful news that has come from Uganda today, esepcially as it comes just days after the death of Nelson Mandela, who stood up for the rights of all including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”

She added: “Now we have an African country going backwards on this important human rights issue. This new law is a license for more killings and brutality.”

A clause which included the death penalty for some offences has been dropped.

The bill was first introduced in 2009 by MP David Bahati

US President Barack Obama called it “odious” in 2010,while some donors have suggested that they could cut aid to Uganda if it implements the bill.

President Yoweri Museveni still has to sign the bill before it becomes law.

“I am officially illegal,” Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha said after the vote on Friday.

Same-sex sexual relationships are illegal in Uganda with little to no legal protections existing for the LGBT community. A male convicted of same-sex activity can face up to life behind bars while a woman can face up to seven years.

LGBT rights campaigner David kato was murdered in Uganda in January 2011, having been outed by the country’s Rolling Stone magazine.