Uganda’s parliament yesterday passed a new draft of anti-gay legislation, retaining many draconian provisions despite President Yoweri Museveni’s call to rework an earlier version of the bill following an outcry by Western governments.
Parliamentary speaker Annet Anita Among said the final vote saw the legislation winning approval from all but one lawmaker. According to the speaker, Uganda has a culture to protect, and the Western world will not come to rule the country.
Legislators amended portions of the draft law to clarify that identifying as gay would not be criminalised, but “engaging in acts of homosexuality” would be an offence punishable with life imprisonment.
Although Museveni had advised lawmakers to delete a provision making “aggravated homosexuality” a capital offence, lawmakers rejected that move, meaning that repeat offenders could be sentenced to death. Uganda has not resorted to capital punishment for many years.