Museveni Signs Anti-Gay Bill

In a move that has sparked both national and international debate, on Monday 29th May 2023, President Museveni of Uganda signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. The anti-gay bill legislation, aimed at curbing same-sex activities and their promotion, carries stringent penalties. While proponents argue that the law defends cultural values and national objectives, activists and critics express concerns over the harsh punishments prescribed. This contentious development follows previous legal battles surrounding similar legislation in Uganda.

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Museveni Signs Anti-Gay Bill Into Law

President Museveni, fulfilling his constitutional duty as stipulated in Article 91 (3) (a) of the 1995 Constitution, has given his assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. This was confirmed by Parliament Speaker Anita Among on Monday. Upholding the culture, values, and aspirations of the Ugandan people, the law aligns with the national objectives and directive principles of state policy, as highlighted in objectives 19 and 24. So, the question is no longer “When Museveni signs anti-gay bill”, but rather the repercussions.

Museveni Signs Anti-Gay Bill

What does the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda stipulate?

Modifications to the bill happened on May 2 following widespread international condemnation of the initial draft. This had targeted individuals identifying as LGBTQ+. The revised legislation focuses on punishing same-sex acts and their promotion. Emphasis is laid particularly among minors, within Uganda’s socially conservative East African society. President Museveni proposed a review of the law on April 20, aiming to strengthen its provisions.

Speaker, Anita Among Supports New Law, Gets Ban from USA

Parliament Speaker Anita Among took to Twitter, encouraging law enforcement agencies to execute their duties in accordance with the Anti-Homosexuality Act. She emphasized the voice of the Ugandan people and urged a fair, steadfast, and firm implementation of the law. That was not long before the USA responded dramatically.

Later on, on the same day, the United States revoked the visa of Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, in response to the recent enactment of anti-LGBTQ legislation in the East African nation. The move comes as President Museveni ignored pressure from Western countries and rights groups and signed the controversial anti-gay Bill into law. Among is the first high-profile individual to face potential sanctions due to Uganda’s new legislation.

Lawmaker Asuman Basalirwa, who introduced the anti-LGBTQ Bill, revealed some classic information. “Among’s visa has been cancelled,” says Basalirwa, “and we have an email confirming the revocation. The email cites information received after Among’s last visa issuance as the reason for the cancellation. Among has been advised to submit her passport to the US Embassy through the Ministry of Finance for necessary adjustments to her visa.”

anita among banned from USA over anti-gay law

What are the punishments for homosexuality in Uganda after Museveni signs anti-gay bill?

The new legislation in Uganda imposes severe penalties, including potential life imprisonment, for those engaged in homosexual acts. Despite international opposition, President Museveni proceeded with signing the Bill into law. Among, in her capacity as Speaker of Parliament, expressed support for the Anti-Homosexuality Act. She urged law enforcement agencies to execute their duties under the new legislation.

More serious repercussions may await Uganda, especially top leaders from the USA

The US Mission was unavailable for immediate comment on the situation at the time of reporting. The revocation of Speaker Anita Among’s visa by the United States serves as a tangible consequence of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law. As tensions rise between Uganda and Western nations, the implementation of the controversial legislation looms in the dark. Its potential ramifications on human rights and international relations continue to be subjects of concern and scrutiny. However, activists have expressed their intention to challenge the law in court. They also cite its controversial provisions, including severe penalties for offenders. It is worth noting that a similar law enacted in 2014 was ultimately nullified, despite President Museveni’s previous assent.

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