Lawmakers make stiffer move on LGBTQ in Uganda
People who identified themselves as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community parade in Entebbe, southwest of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, Aug. 8, 2015. Photo: VOA
Lawmakers in Uganda are making a move to criminalise identifying as LGBTQ, arguing that the current ban on same-sex relations does not go far enough.
The Ugandan parliament made the move on Thursday.
Currently, same-sex relations in the east African country is punishable by up to life in prison. More than 30 African countries ban same-sex relations.
The Ugandan law if passed, would appear to be the first to criminalise merely identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ), according to Human Rights Watch.
Reuters reports that, the proposed Ugandan law was introduced as a private lawmaker’s bill and aims to allow the country to fight “threats to the traditional, heterosexual family”.
It punishes with up to 10 years in prison any person who “holds out as a lesbian, gay, transgender, a queer or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female”.
After the new bill was read in parliament, Speaker Anita Among sent it to a committee for scrutiny and public hearings before it is brought back to the House for debate and a vote.
Among urged members of parliament to reject intimidation, referencing reported threats by some Western countries to impose travel bans against those involved in passing the law.
“This business of intimidating that ‘you will not go to America’, what is America?” she said.
Writing by Muzha Kucha