Ugandan MPs want to reintroduce anti-homosexuality law that could imprison gay people for life

Politicians in Uganda are pushing for a law that would punish homosexuality to be reintroduced.

In December 2013, Ugandan parliament passed the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014, making it legal to imprison people for life for what was deemed “aggravated homosexuality”—defined as someone with HIV engaging in homosexual acts, sex with a minor or repeated offences of homosexuality. The act was passed into law in February 2014, but later deemed invalid by Uganda’s constitutional court in August 2014.

MPs in the country are now demanding the bill be brought back – claiming homosexuality is “un-African.”

Numerous MPs spoke about bringing back the Anti-Homosexuality Act in Ugandan parliament on Wednesday. They passed a motion to praise Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga for “standing firm” against LGBT rights at a recent international meeting.

Kadaga, who was a leading force behind what was dubbed the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill, told an Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Summit in March that Uganda would withdraw from the union if it endorsed LGBT rights in any way.

Kadaga accused IPU president Gabriella Barroza of sneaking in a homosexuality motion at the Geneva summit. She said it was done without consent from Asian and African representatives.

Nsaba Buturo, who introduced the motion, praised Kadaga’s performance at the IPU.

“The external interests have threatened and used all kinds of means to force nations such as Uganda to accept the same sex practices,” he told the house.

“I urge all Ugandans and the Members of Parliament to reject homosexuality in all its forms and manifestations.”

Edwin Sesange of the African Equality Foundation told PinkNews: “It’s so sad to hear honourable members of parliament completely ignoring the historical facts of Uganda and pushing a hateful foreign agenda on Ugandans.

“It is well documented that Britain forced anti-gay laws to Uganda, meaning it is homophobia which is un-African or un-Ugandan, not homosexuality.

“I appeal to them to start reclaiming the traditional values of Africa like love for all, non-discrimination, among others which were eroded by the foreign discriminatory sodomy laws.

“I love their energy but I am sure it can be used to tackle corruption, unemployment, declining medical services among others which are claiming lives in Uganda.”

An original draft of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, proposed in 2009, called for the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” However, this was changed to life in prison in the version of the bill that passed through parliament in 2013.

Speaker Kadaga claimed it would be a “Christmas gift” to Uganda at the time.