“Queer people live in fear of being arrested or getting beaten up or killed. There is no safe space. This is why my team want to open Uganda’s first LGBT community centre,” said Petter Wallenberg, director of the group Rainbow Riots. “The centre will be a safe space to welcome queer people, encourage and support them. To achieve this, we are currently raising funds to cover the costs. “We will provide opportunities to learn, relax, socialise and will also give advice on health and safety, which is much needed. It will in essence be a support system.”
The law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status but is silent on sexual orientation and gender identity. The penal code, however, prohibits “unnatural offenses.” The government did not enforce the law in matters of locally or culturally prevalent discrimination against women, children, persons... Expand
The law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status but is silent on sexual orientation and gender identity. The penal code, however, prohibits “unnatural offenses.” The government did not enforce the law in matters of locally or culturally prevalent discrimination against women, children, persons with disabilities, or certain ethnic groups.
Consensual same-sex sexual conduct is illegal, according to a colonial-era law that criminalizes “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” and provides for a penalty up to life imprisonment. While authorities did not convict any persons under the law, the government arrested persons for this and related offenses.
On February 24, President Museveni--who called LGBT persons “disgusting”--signed into law the AHA, which the National Assembly passed in 2013. The AHA criminalizes, outlaws, and provides harsh prison terms for same-sex relationships, “promoting” homosexuality, or “aiding and abetting” homosexual acts. On July 29, activists filed a petition in the Constitutional Court seeking to overturn the AHA, claiming the National Assembly passed the law without the necessary quorum and that the law violated the rights of individuals under the constitution. On August 1, the Constitutional Court nullified the law, noting the National Assembly’s speaker had “acted illegally” by not establishing a quorum before its passage.
LGBT persons faced discrimination, legal restrictions, and societal harassment and violence, intimidation, and threats. They were denied access to health services. Several LGBT persons were charged with engaging in “acts against the order of nature” and indecency, and their cases were pending at year’s end. For example, on February 12, police in Masaka District arrested John Sseruwu on charges of performing unnatural acts prohibited under the penal code. Police released Sseruwu on bail, and hearing of the case was pending.
Police arrested several persons following the passage of the AHA, and human rights organizations reported the LGBT community faced increased discrimination.
Authorities targeted several projects suspected of “promoting” homosexuality. For example, on March 14, the minister of relief, disaster preparedness, and refugees, Hilary Onek, suspended the activities of the RLP pending investigation into allegations the project was “promoting” homosexuality. On May 20, the project received a letter from the permanent secretary, signed by the OPM’s commissioner for refugees, extending the suspension of the Kampala office. Despite the nullification of the AHA and the elimination of the basis for any charge, Minister Onek refused to lift the suspension of the RLP.
On April 3, police in Kampala raided a foreign-funded project that offered HIV/AIDS services to patients, including members of the LGBT community, on suspicion the project “promoted” homosexuality. On April 4, the project suspended its activities in the country after authorities arrested a member of its local staff. Police did not produce any information regarding their investigation of the project and in October sent a letter stating they had dropped the case.
In 2013 the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) reported that, of the 15 LGBT organizations that submitted applications, eight were registered with the URSB. The HRAPF confirmed in November that the remaining seven organizations were subsequently registered with the URSB.
In November the HRAPF reported that police dropped the case against Patrick Musoke, a member of Kampus Liberty Uganda, who was arrested on suspicion of engaging in illegal “unnatural acts” in February 2013.
Some religious and political leaders delivered church sermons and wrote articles to lobby the public against LGBT persons. On March 31, the Inter-religious Council of Uganda, with substantial support from the government, held a major rally thanking parliamentarians for passing the AHA. At the rally, President Museveni and other major religious leaders pledged to continue efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals and those who called for LGBT rights.
Unlike in the previous year, the government did not block meetings organized by LGBT groups.
On June 23, the High Court in Kampala dismissed a 2012 petition filed by four LGBT activists accusing the minister of ethics and integrity and the attorney general of illegally closing a workshop organized by Freedom and Roam Uganda in Entebbe in 2012. The court ruled the minister acted in the public interest to protect the moral values of society. The minister reportedly told the court the participants were distributing literature intended to “train and recruit others into homosexuality.” The court ordered the petitioners to compensate the minister. The petitioners have not appealed.
Source: U.S. Department of State's  Human Rights Report
Despite threats from authorities, fundraising continues with the goal of building and opening the center in Kampala by year's end. Ugandan human rights activists and groups are facing pushback from the country's government over plans to open a community center for members of the LGBTI community. Simon Lokodo, minister for ethics and integrity, has branded the groups' plans "a criminal act" and pledged to block fundraising and other plans.
India's Gay Sex Ban Was a Relic of the British Empire — but It's Still in Place in Dozens of Ex-colonies
When India’s Supreme Court this week legalized same-sex intercourse between consenting adults, it buried, most likely forever, a 157-year-old law introduced during British colonial rule. The decision was a landmark — not least because civil rights activists hope it will galvanize the repeal of similar anti-gay legislation that remains on the books in dozens of other former outposts of the British Empire. Britain decriminalized homosexuality beginning half a century ago, but the vestiges of its Victorian-era morality laws linger from Antigua to Zambia. About 35 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, made up mostly of former colonies, ban same-sex relations, accounting for roughly half the countries that outlaw gay intercourse.
Uganda's Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, has banned a popular and highly publicized international music and arts festival schedule for the weekend. Mr Lokodo said the government had "information that open sex, noise, homosexuality, LGBTI will be part of" the Nyege Nyege festival, which was to be held on September 6-9. “This ugly thing called MTN Nyege Nyege is not taking place this year. We have already evaluated how much losses will come. We shall save the image of this country but not allow this to take place for the two days and one night,” he said.
So many times when Uganda’s LGBTI community has tried to hold public events, like a Pride parade or a film festival, police have stormed in leaving people scared for their lives. Gay sex is illegal in Uganda and LGBTI people face extreme persecution and violence. ‘Life for LGBT persons is harsh, it’s very difficult to survive. It’s especially hard to find a job when people know that you’re LGBT,’ 24-year old artist Alicia Nalunkuma told Gay Star News. Every day in Uganda, LGBTI people live in fear. ‘It’s very traumatizing and depressing. You feel hopeless because you can’t run or turn to anybody because the laws don’t protect you and the police can’t be trusted with your story,’ Nalunkuma said.
Protesters in London are demanding an end to the torture and detention of Ugandan activist singer/politician Robert Kyagulanyi. The protest is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, Aug. 23) in London. The opposition politician/singer, whose stage name is Bobi Wine. was arrested on firearms charges last week after his driver was shot by security forces. He is supported by the LGBT community. Although he supported Uganda’s short-lived, harsh Anti-Homosexuality Act in 2014, he changed his mind in 2016 and began calling for tolerance.
An eight-part podcast series looking into the experiences of “queer Africans living, loving, thriving and surviving on the continent and in the diaspora” recently hit the virtual world. Titled AfroQueer, the weekly series covers topics such as law, migration, film, race, censorship, family and sex. The series is put together by an African queer-focused digital media organization None on Record. Selly Thiam, the series’ executive producer, explains why a podcast was the chosen medium. “We wanted to tell more stories and didn’t really want to do it through video, which can be really time-consuming. And because a lot of us [at None on Record] consume a lot of podcasts, it was kind of just an organic idea to do [it] this way.” Aida Holly-Nambi, None on Records’ arts and culture director, is one of the series’ producers and reporters. “The beauty of podcasts is that, when it comes to consuming queer African stories, there is a safety in being able to listen privately through your headphones without people knowing what you’re listening to. So, for those of us [who are in places] where safety is a concern.”
Yes, the Gay Games are a thing. Held every four years, it’s a sport and cultural event featuring LGBT athletes and artists. You can call it the “Gay Olympics”, and although it has held for over three decades, it might not seem like something an African would actually participate in, considering the rampant homophobia within the continent. However, trans athlete, Jay Mulucha has risen above the bigotry in Uganda to become one of the few Africans doing what they love at the 2018 Gay Games, currently happening in Paris. A basketball player, Mulucha’s story is similar to that of many members of the LGBT community in Africa. He was outed eight years ago while in school, losing his scholarship and admission. According to OutSports, he started FEM Alliance Uganda – helping queer people who were assigned female at birth navigate the society, and secretly working with health providers to help the community.
In most African countries, LGBTI rights are either limited or nonexistent. In East Africa, however, the LGBT community is rising up to challenge homophobic attitudes and laws. This February saw the Kenyan LGBT community reach a historic milestone: a Kenyan court began hearing arguments in a case that seeks to repeal laws criminalizing gay sex. The laws were introduced in Kenya in 1897, when the country was under British rule. People convicted of a violation face up to 14 years in prison.
Gay rights activists from Commonwealth countries are demanding that laws banning homosexuality should be overturned. Campaigner Peter Tatchell has said people face violence and imprisonment just because they are gay. The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, promised the Olympic diver Tom Daley that he would raise the issue at the Commonwealth summit. So, where is homosexuality still outlawed? There are 53 countries in the Commonwealth and most of them are former British colonies. Out of those, 37 have laws that criminalise homosexuality.
Currently no Stories
The following organization(s) conducts its own work in this country to improve the lives of LGBTI people there and/or funds local organizations doing that work. Please click on the link to learn more about them and support their work.
Currently no Organizations
Currently no Programs