Uganda has been known for its conservative views on LGBTQ rights, with the country’s government and society being largely intolerant of homosexuality. With the new anti-homosexuality bill passed this week, parliament has imposed the death penalty for some offences.
In a shocking move, Uganda has passed a bill criminalising homosexuality with life imprisonment sentences, further imposing the death penalty for offences termed as ‘aggravated homosexuality’.
The bill, officially known as the ‘Homosexuality Aggravated Penalty Bill,’ was passed by Uganda’s parliament on Monday, March 20th. This has sparked outrage from human rights activists and the international community.
The situation for LGBTQ people in Uganda is dire. Homophobia is widespread, and members of the LGBTQ community are often subjected to violence, harassment, and discrimination. Those accused of same-sex relations are actively sought out and arrested.
On transgender individuals, the government has refused to recognise such identities and prohibited gender-affirming healthcare. This has resulted in many transgender individuals being forced to live in secrecy.
One of the country’s notable organisations that has been leading the charge for LGBTQ rights in Uganda is Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).
Despite its advocacy for protecting the rights of LGBTQ individuals in Uganda through education and research, however, instances of human rights violations and intimidation are regularly witnessed.