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Anti-homosexuality bill: US says Uganda could face sanctions

Secretary of State Blinken speaking Wednesday to the US Senate committee about his budget requests for the next year, hours after Uganda passed the law against gays

Washington, US | THE INDEPENDENT  & URN | The United States, a leading funder of Uganda’s healthcare sector, has warned that passing of the Anti-Homosexuality bill will not only reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but also impinge upon universal human rights and damage the country’s reputation. The US says it could consider economic sanctions.

“The Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the Ugandan Parliament yesterday would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation,” said US secretary of State Antony Blinken hours after the law was passed by parliament on Tuesday.

The US is however optimistic that President Yoweri Museveni will still veto the bill, and therefore no sanctions would be considered.

Asked at a press briefing Wednesday “if anything like sanctions or some other concrete measure are being considered by the U.S. side” if the law should take effect, Strategic Communications chief John Kirby said no decisions have been reached yet.

“No decisions.  We’re watching this very, very closely.  And hopefully, it won’t pass and we won’t have to do anything,” he told the press, adding, “This is the parliament passing it.  It still has some process to go here.  We’re certainly watching this real closely.  And we would have to take a look at whether or not there might be repercussions that we would have to take, perhaps in an economic way, should this law actually get passed — enacted. ”

Kirby said that “it would be unfortunate, because so much of the economic assistance that the US provides Uganda is health assistance and largely through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)”.

“And you can see a world in which, you know, a law like this, should it be enacted, would not only, as Karine rightly said, just be devastating to a whole community of people inside of Uganda, but if it were to have any kind of an effect on our economic assistance, that would only make that worse,” he said.

Earlier, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre who is the first Black person and the first openly LGBT person to serve in the position, warned Uganda of several repurcassions should the law be enacted.

“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and investment in Uganda, and damage Uganda’s international reputation,” she said.

“The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world. Human rights are universal.  No one should be attacked, imprisoned, or killed simply because of who they are or whom they love.”

Earlier, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah also appealed to President Yoweri Museveni not to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 passed by Parliament on Tuesday evening.“President Yoweri Museveni must urgently veto this appalling legislation, which was passed following a rushed vote on Tuesday evening. The law amounts to a grave assault on LGBTI people and is contemptuous of the Ugandan Constitution,” reads part of a statement issued by Tigere on Wednesday.

Parliament chaired by Speaker Anita Among approved the private member’s Bill with a death penalty for the offence of aggravated homosexuality. According to the Bill, the offence of aggravated homosexuality is where a victim is a child below 14 or above a person 75 years, a person with a disability or suffers a disability as a result of the sexual act, a person with mental illness and others.

The offence also applies where the offender is a parent, guardian or relative of the victim, the victim contracts a terminal illness as a result of the sexual act, the offender is a serial wrongdoer, an offender is a person in authority over the victim, the offence was committed against a person by means of threats, force, fear of bodily harm, duress, undue influence and others.

Uganda’s parliament

Under the passed Bill tabled by Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa, those convicted of attempted aggravated homosexuality will face 14 years once convicted.

The Bill says that a person commits the offence of homosexuality if the person performs a sexual act on another person of the same sex or allows a person of the same sex to perform a sexual act on him or her.

Imprisonment for life is the penalty for a person who commits the offence of homosexuality.

People who publically declare that they belong to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer– LGBTQ community face ten years imprisonment for engaging in homosexuality.

A child who is convicted for engaging in homosexuality will be conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years.

According to the Amnesty International Regional Director, the approved law promotes discrimination and hatred.

“In reality, this deeply repressive legislation will institutionalize 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,” says Tigere.

He adds that instead of criminalizing LGBTI people, Uganda should protect them by enacting laws and policies that align with the principles of equality and non-discrimination enshrined not only in Uganda’s Constitution but also in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Parliament’s approval of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 is the second attempt by Uganda to have stand-alone legislation against homosexuality.

In December 2013, Parliament passed the first Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was tabled by Ndorwa East MP, David Bahati and assented to by President Yoweri Museveni on February 24th February 2014. However, the Constitutional Court annulled the law on August 1st, 2014, on grounds that it had been passed without the requisite quorum.

During Tuesday’s Parliament sitting, Speaker Among carried out a roll-call and ascertained that 389 Members of Parliament were in attendance, 55 of who were on Zoom. The 11th Parliament has 529 Members and the rule of procedure on quorum requires 176 or a third of the MPs to vote for a Bill to be passed.

Deputy Attorney General, Jackson Kafuuzi said that his office made consultations, looked at the Bill, harmonized with the mover and that they are comfortable with the approved piece of legislation.

The approved Bill is to now take on a new process that leads it to assent by the President under Article 91 (3) of the Constitution within 30 days after a Bill is presented to him or return it to parliament with a request for reconsideration or notify the Speaker in writing that he refuses to assent.

Before the Bill reaches the President’s table, the process involves the preparation of copies and capturing all amendments made by the House by Parliament’s Department of Legislative and Procedural Services. A harmonized copy is then signed by the Clerk to Parliament and forwarded to the Head of State.



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  1. STUPID, if American me want to “Marry” fellow men, let them be, BUT this should not be imposed on Africans, how come Blinken has a Wife who is a WOMAN and not a fellow Man?

  2. Dr. Emmanuel Marr

    Nonsense… America and this guy called Tigere must us alone. We as a country of Uganda 🇺🇬 we are a God fearing Nation. And as such we are not going to compromise our Faith and Trust in the Lord our God.

    Tigere and his fellow lesbianism group should go to hell. No one should tell us Ugandans how to run our country. They can withdraw all their Aids projects from Uganda 🇺🇬 and see if we won’t live.

    Take all so donations from Uganda 🇺🇬 and see if we won’t see tomorrow? Your donations that comes with strings of wickedness are not genuine at all.

    Please our dear president, with all due respect sign that Bill into law and let these devil’s worshipers from America get lost with their so-called Aids to Uganda 🇺🇬. God will still supply our needs by far even 10 times better than America.

    May God stand with you and grant you the president of the Republic of Uganda 🇺🇬 and all our great Legislators and our beloved country at large in Jesus Powerful name… Amen and Amen.


    • we have cultural values as Uganda and we uphold them ” to hell with the gay community”.
      was blinken delivered by a fellow man ??
      it’s unfortunate people whom we take to be knowledgeable are just ..……..
      stay with your rotten morals and a lesson to African leaders “let’s be patriotic and say no more to corruption 😂😂😂

    • Thanks

  3. we have cultural values as Uganda and we uphold them ” to hell with the gay community”.
    was blinken delivered by a fellow man ??
    it’s unfortunate people whom we take to be knowledgeable are just ..……..
    stay with your rotten morals and a lesson to African leaders “let’s be patriotic and say no more to corruption 😂😂😂

  4. The west and the allies should style up. Participate in your homosexuality alone and wait for Allah’s punishment than imposing African countries to participate in yr shit under pretense of human rights and democracy. Leave Africa alone. We can now see the trues! Russia’ chaina and North Korea….are right to defend themselves against the so called “world order” full of evil.

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