Ugandan lawmakers renewing efforts to pass anti-gay law

World News -

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had approved a bill that punished homosexual acts with life in prison in late February, but the bill was later nullified.

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Copyright 2014 Reuters
Copyright 2014 Reuters

Around 150 lawmakers agreed to support a bill banning homosexual acts Aug. 6, just days after Uganda's top court nullified an earlier anti-gay law. The measure, to be treated as a "national priority," will be introduced once lawmakers return from recess later in August.

"The illegal act of the Speaker tainted the process and rendered it a nullity." Uganda Constitutional Court

Uganda's Constitutional Court sided with gay activists on Aug. 1, declaring the anti-gay law unconstitutional and therefore void. The court, which didn't rule on the substance of the law, said the speaker of Uganda's parliament had not followed proper procedures by passing the bill in a session that lacked a quorum.

Ugandan LGBT people held their first pride parade following the Aug. 1 ruling on Aug. 9. Many wore masks to hide their identify for fear of violence. Gay activist Moses Kimbugwe said the demonstrators, which numbered less than 200, were there to "walk for those who can't walk, who are afraid to walk." Copyright 2014 Reuters

Ugandan LGBT people held their first pride parade following the Aug. 1 ruling on Aug. 9. Many wore masks to hide their identify for fear of violence. Gay activist Moses Kimbugwe said the demonstrators, which numbered less than 200, were there to "walk for those who can't walk, who are afraid to walk."

Ugandan President Museveni in February signed into law a bill that toughened already strict legislation against gay people. A panel from Museveni's party concluded that people are not born gay. Museveni has said that gay people are abnormal and that some lesbians may be suffering from "sexual starvation." Copyright 2014 Reuters

Ugandan President Museveni in February signed into law a bill that toughened already strict legislation against gay people. A panel from Museveni's party concluded that people are not born gay. Museveni has said that gay people are abnormal and that some lesbians may be suffering from "sexual starvation."

Sweden resumed funding to Uganda with a pledge of 1.35 billion crowns ($198 million) for health and economic projects, the Swedish embassy in Kampala said on July 24. The country had suspended some funding in March due to the anti-gay law. Norway, Denmark and the World Bank have also stopped or delayed payments.

The White House said June 19 that the U.S. will impose visa bans on officials who have violated the rights of gay people, citing the anti-gay law. The Obama administration will also end funding for a $2.4 million Ugandan community policing program, cancel military exercises with Uganda, and redirect certain funds for public health.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said in mid-May after the anti-homosexuality law passed, there was a noticeable increase of "arbitrary arrests, police abuse and extortion, loss of employment, evictions and homelessness." They said services by health providers for LGBT scaled back for fear of prosecution.

The original homosexuality legislation called for executing anyone found to have performed homosexual acts. That provision was eventually dropped. In Nov. 2013, the European Court of Justice ruled LGBT people who fear persecution in Uganda are eligible for asylum in the EU.

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