On May 29th, the Speaker of Parliament communicated publicly that President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law in Uganda. This new law imposes harsher penalties for consensual same-sex relationships and creates additional crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community.
The law criminalizes any advocacy in support of LGBTQ+ individuals under the offense of “promoting homosexuality.” Disturbingly, it also includes a provision that permits the death penalty for cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” perpetuating stigma against people living with HIV and undermining the progress made in Uganda’s HIV/AIDS response.
We strongly condemn this law as it violates the principle of equality stated in Uganda’s Constitution. Activists are preparing to challenge the law’s constitutionality in court, highlighting the inherent human rights violations it entails.
It is disheartening to note that even prior to its passing, the proposal of this bill has resulted in targeted persecution of the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda. In order to prioritize the safety of our grantee partners, we took the critical decision to temporarily take down our social media and website, and have remained offline for the past two months. This action was taken in response to the escalating risks faced by our partners in Uganda.
While this decision has temporarily limited our ability to communicate and engage through these channels, we firmly believe it was the necessary step to safeguard the individuals and communities we work with. After doing a risk assessment, including speaking to those impacted, and scrubbing our website, we have come back online to join the chorus of voices speaking out against the law.
We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda and will continue to advocate for the protection of their rights, safety, and well-being. We urge everyone to join us in condemning this law and supporting legal efforts to overturn it.