This year, The Uganda's president has signed a new Anti-Homosexuality Act,2023 which was although conceivable from the past steps taken by the country's
parliament. The act abolishes some civil rights and imposes penalties on
homosexuals' acts, thus can be termed as one of the stringent anti� LGBTQ+ law
in the world. It prescribes the punishment of imprisonment up to 20 years and
fines for the offense of normalization of homosexuality.
Furthermore, the life
imprisonment for same biological sex who are involved in the act of sex. The new
category of offence is included termed as 'aggravated homosexuality' for which
there is death penalty. This offence includes "serial offenders", same-sex rape,
sex in a position of authority or procured by intimidation, sex with persons
older than seventy-five, sex with the disabled and mentally ill, and homosexual
acts committed by a person with a previous conviction of homosexuality.
homosexuality acts were already illegal in Uganda through its history of
condemning the urning for the preservation of its culture, traditions, ethics,
moralities, and aspirations of its people. The act is condemned by several
western countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Canada, EU, and several
other NGO's that are prominent proponents of the LGBTQ+ Community . Also, the UN
experts said, "The imposition of the death penalty for same-sex intimacy-
including so-called 'serial homosexuality'- is an egregious violation of human
Uganda has been known for sparkling the anti-LGBTQ+ acts with its previous acts
such as of Anti-Homosexuality Act ,2014 the predecessor of the newly enact act
with sexual offences bill introduced in years 2019 and 2021 but later vetoed by
president. The atrocities faced by the community in the country are in the form
of violence, civilian harassment, and mob violence. Results from the 2016
Afrobarometer survey on popular attitudes and perceptions of LGBTI people in
Africa were published.
The survey's objective was to determine how tolerant
Africans were of LGBTQ+ individuals in their environments. According to the
survey, the majority of people in Africa displayed extreme lack of tolerance for
LGBTQ+ individuals. Uganda's tolerance rating was 5%, making it one of the
continent's most intolerant countries towards LGBTQ+ persons. Therefore, the
development of queerphobia and homophobia is prevalent among the citizens of
country for which the policies of country's government play a crucial role.
Thus, this rigorous act will impact Uganda at the world front socially,
economically, and politically as well.
Violation Of Human Rights
The term LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender, Queer. This
community gain a broader adaptation in the mid-1980s. Since then, we can see the
awareness programs, movements, and supporters of them till today at a huge
scale. The International human rights law lays down the obligations of
Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, to promote
and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.
Since 2003, The UN have criticized the acts which deal with killings of people
based on their sexual identity and orientation.
Various resolutions have also
been passed by human rights council to support the same in the years 2011, 2014,
2016, 2018 and 2019. Furthermore, The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made
the statement in 2018 "So long as people face criminalization, bias and violence
based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics, we
must redouble our efforts to end this violations,". As of 2022, 34 countries
have made same sex marriage legal.
The new act of Uganda violates the many provisions of International Human
Firstly, The UN Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by UN in 1966,
found that laws punishing adult consensual homosexual acts violate the
Covenant's guarantees of non-discrimination and privacy and held that
discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited under Articles 2 and 26
of the Covenant.
Secondly, the opening words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are
unequivocal: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
Thus, this means that International human rights legislation guarantees that all
persons are treated equally and without discrimination, regardless of their
gender, sexual orientation, or "other status." No provision in any of our human
rights treaties, whether in the small print or a secret exemption clause, would
permit a State to guarantee full rights to some while denying them to others
solely based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Finally, the Article 6 and Article 7 of International Covenant on Civil and
political Rights which abolishes death penalty and inhumane treatment. That read
Article 6- "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life". The phrase that
follows provide assurances that no one may be "arbitrarily" deprived of life and
that the right to life must be guaranteed by the law.
Article 7- "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment."
A Conservation or A Contravention?
The Uganda's speaker addresses and gives a statement that "We have stood strong
to defend our culture and the aspirations of our people" after the passing of
the bill granting support of the majority of MPs in parliament with a same
reason of rationality about the passing of bill . The Condemnation of
homosexuality as "un-African" continues fervently on the African continent,
especially in conservative Christian circles - even though Christianity is
Although Africans have claimed that homosexuality is
Western, they have used Western religion as the basis for their claim," Nigerian LGBTQ activist Bisi Alimi wrote in the British newspaper The Guardian in 2015,
adding that many people justify their homosexual views by claiming that
homosexuality it is not in the Bible. Africa's past is "a real mess," concludes
Alimi . Uganda is also influenced by the era of colonialism and the religion is
deeply rooted into the cultures of the country.
During the colonial rule the
homosexuality was ban since the year 1902 but the country's constitution adopted
in its penal code act ,1950 which was made in the era of colonialism. Thus, the
country wants to conserve the culture at the time of western hegemony.
The New act passed by the Uganda's parliament clearly contravenes the principles
of human rights. The International community mainly the European and American
countries have expressed a grave concern over the new legislation. This will
further intensify the violence against the LGBTQ+ community so as the stigma in
the citizens of the country. Framing a stringent bill that violates the
principles of human rights will impact the frontiers of the country globally. To
balance the commitments of conservation of culture the Uganda government should
take measures to abide by its constitution and international human rights to
grant equality before law rather than to overstep the constitution by
decriminalizing consensual same sex acts and granting of death penalty in
Further, the Uganda government must reconsider that the new act violates many
provisions of International Human Rights. Furthermore, the motive behind the
legislation can also have a negative impact and it will not be a fruitful
outcome for the country at the global level who is still identify as a least
Samuel Okiror, Uganda's parliament passes mostly unchanged anti-LGBTQ bill, the Guardian (May 2, 2023)
Uganda: UN experts condemn egregious anti-LGBT legislation, OHCHR https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/03/uganda-un-experts-condemn-egregious-anti-lgbt-legislation
Uganda's anti-gay bill is the latest and worst to target LGBTQ Africans, Reuters
UN Free & Equal
(last visited Oct. 25, 2023)
Resolutions on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics, OHCHR
About LGBTI people and human rights, OHCHR https://www.ohchr.org/en/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity/about-lgbti-people-and-human-rights
Marriage Equality Around the World, Human Rights Campaign
(last visited Oct. 25, 2023)
Samuel Okiror, Ugandan president signs anti-LGBTQ+ law with death penalty for same-sex acts, the Guardian (May 29, 2023)
Kevin Tschierse & Ines Eisele, Why is homophobia so strong in Uganda?- DW- 04/21/2023, dw.com (Apr. 21, 2023)
- Ali Johar, Law Student At Jamia Millia Islamia , New Delhi
- Asad Naushad Khan, Law Student At Jamia Millia Islamia , New