Uganda strengthens anti-gay laws, brands gay sex an unnatural offense

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05/04/2021

Uganda has further strengthened its anti-gay laws with new legislation that brands gay sex an “unnatural offense.” The African nation already criminalizes same-sex sexual relations, with Uganda’s Penal Code outlawing “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and gay people facing up to life in prison if convicted. But that wasn’t sufficient for lawmakers in the Ugandan parliament, who passed the Sexual Offences Bill on Monday, May 3, two years after it was formally introduced. Among its various sections, the bill criminalizes “unnatural offenses,” including sexual acts “contrary to the order of nature” and bestiality. But the Bill also builds on language in the country’s Penal Code by specifically banning “sexual act[s] between persons of the same gender.” Those convicted under the “unnatural offenses” clause would be subject to imprisonment for five years, Uganda’s Independent reports. Lawmakers told the Independent that the new law would not be thrown out in court, like the country’s infamous “Kill the Gays” bill. Introduced in 2013, it proposed the death penalty for same-sex sexual relations.

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