Uganda: New ‘even worse’ anti-gay law drafted

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

An even more extreme anti-gay law has been drafted in Uganda, after the country’s original law was struck down by a court.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act was passed earlier this year, but was struck down by the country’s Constitutional Court in August, who found that Parliamentary procedures had been abused to pass it illegally.

However, politicians in the country have refused to accept defeat on the legislation, and have been clamouring to put the homophobic law back into place.

Human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo claims that he has obtained a leaked version of the new draft bill – titled the Prohibition of the Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill – which is even harsher than the original.

In addition to banning homosexuality outright, the country would also adopt a Russia-style ban on the “promotion” of homosexuality, which can be used to stifle dissent.

Broader-reaching parts of the law also target charities and NGOs who work on LGBT rights, attacking “funding for purposes of promoting unnatural sexual practices”, and also makes it a crime to “make a representation … by whatever means of a person engaged in real or fictitious unnatural sexual practices”.

Mr Opiyo  told Buzzfeed that sources “in cabinet and on the committee [working on the bill] have confirmed that this is the real draft bill”, and added: “It appears even worse, even more draconian than the law.”

The country’s President Yoweri Museveni backed the introduction of the first anti-gay law, but has expressed fears a number of times that a new law would hurt the country’s trade relationships.

He wrote last month: “It is now an issue of a snake in a clay cooking pot. We want to kill the snake, but we do not want to break the pot.

“We want to protect our children from homosexuality, but we do not want to kill our trade opportunities.”