Uncertain future for LGBT+ rights in Uganda as controversial bill is passed

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05/05/2021

The Ugandan Parliament on Monday passed the Sexual Offenses Bill, which contains a clause to criminalize same-sex relationships. The bill prescribes a five-year-jail term for anyone guilty of same-sex acts, and awaits the signature of President Yoweri Museveni. For many, the bill sounds like a repeat of a similar law passed in the Ugandan parliament in 2013, which, however, was annulled by the country’s Supreme Court based on technicalities. The focus of the new bill is to primarily clamp down on sexual violence in general, increasing punishments for sexual offenders while also boosting the protection of victims during sexual offense trials. The overarching objective of the new piece of legislation is to provide for a broader application of the law while repealing some provisions of the Penal Code Act.

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