Media Statement: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is a step backwards for Africa

OUT LGBT Well-being strongly condemns Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni for signing the oppressive and cruel Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law.

This legislation represents a grave threat to the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda, further criminalising same-sex sexuality and subjecting individuals to persecution. The law imposes harsh penalties, including life imprisonment and even the death penalty in certain cases, for engaging in same-sex relationships. It also criminalises advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and providing support to LGBTQ+ individuals, leading to imprisonment.

“This law is a significant setback for our continent, undermining efforts to enhance the lives of LGBTQ+ Africans,” says Sibonelo Ncanana, OUT’s Human Rights Coordinator. “Rather than upholding the equal human rights of all Ugandans, the country’s leaders have chosen to embrace ignorance, prejudice, and hate, while stoking fear and panic over a non-existent threat.”

OUT notes that Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament has called for the swift enforcement of this discriminatory law.

“The legislation will severely hinder Uganda’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS,” warns Ncanana. “By marginalising members of the LGBTQ+ community and making them outlaws, those who are most vulnerable to the virus will be reluctant to seek vital healthcare services due to fear of arrest.”

OUT urges the South African government to publicly denounce the Anti-Homosexuality Act, demonstrating its unwavering support for the equal human rights of all Africans. The government’s insistence that Uganda’s sovereignty must be respected is deeply hypocritical. It has a constitutional obligation to take a principled stand on this issue, just as many countries around the world took a stand against apartheid.

Moreover, the African Union and the international community must unequivocally convey to Uganda that inhumane, regressive, and unjust laws cannot be enacted on the continent without consequences.