We strongly condemn the passing of the sweeping anti-gay legislation by the parliament of Uganda. We stand in solidarity with the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda, who now face even harsher penalties for simply living their lives and expressing their identities. The new law criminalises same-sex relationships and punishes those who “promote” homosexuality or fail to report someone who is gay to authorities. It also includes provisions that would outlaw the provision of healthcare and other services to LGBTQ+ people, putting them at risk of serious harm and further marginalization.
The criminalization of LGBTQ+ people is a gross human rights violation and goes against equality and non-discrimination. The justification that this legislation is needed to protect traditional values in the country is unacceptable, as everyone deserves the right to live free from fear and persecution, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. As a member state of the United Nations, Uganda has committed to protecting, promoting, and respecting the individual rights and fundamental freedoms laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The bill, which has been in the works for years, has drawn fierce criticism from LGBTQ+ advocates and human rights groups globally, who argue that it violates the basic rights of Ugandan citizens to live without fear of discrimination and persecution. The bill is one of the harshest of such laws in Africa.
We urge the government of Uganda to repeal this legislation and respect the rights of their LGBTIQ+ citizens. We also call on the international community to speak out against this blatant violation of human rights and support efforts to promote equality and non-discrimination for all.
This is a joint statement by The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, The Initiative for Equality and Non-Discrimination, galck+, Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders- Kenya, Gay HIV prevention Network, Defenders Coalition, Pema Kenya, Public Health Innovations, and The Key Population Consortium of Kenya.