The recent passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 in Uganda sent shockwaves through the global LGBTQI+ community and highlighted the ongoing struggle for human rights for all. The bill, if passed into law, would result in a disaster for the human rights of LGBTQI+ people, public health, and the fight against HIV/AIDS. Moreover, the bill would curtail the freedom of rights for Ugandans and subject them to potential labelling as accomplices for “harbouring” knowledge of LGBTQI+ individuals and organisations.
As Kenyan LGBTQI+ organizations and allied NGOs, we strongly condemn the passage of the hateful Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 in Uganda. We call upon President Museveni not to give his assent to Bill or any other similar legislation in future. Further, members of parliament must reject the controversial bill when brought back.
It is important to note that the bill is not only a threat to LGBTQI+ rights but also violates Ugandan, regional, and international law. Uganda is a signatory to several international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to which Uganda is also a signatory, through Resolution 275 of 2014, recognizes the inherent dignity and equal rights of all people and asks African states to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination
Furthermore, the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 is glaringly unconstitutional as confirmed recently by the Attorney General. The bill violates the rights to privacy, non-discrimination, and freedom of expression, association, and assembly. The Ugandan Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law to all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The anti-gender and human rights movement is gaining momentum worldwide and countries in Africa including Uganda are experiencing the rise of a few states and Western evangelical funding and organising to undermine several protections provided in national constitutions. This movement seeks to erode the rights of women and LGBTQI+ people, posing a significant threat to the progress made in recent years towards equality and human rights.
It is crucial that we stand together and condemn these efforts to strip away human rights. Moreover, other countries in the region and worldwide are also seeking to pass similar laws, and these moves undermine the progress made towards equality and human rights for all. We, therefore, call on all governments to strongly condemn and reject these efforts. We urge them to take urgent action towards upholding fundamental human rights for all.
We stand in solidarity with the global LGBTQI+ community in condemning the global anti-gender and anti-human rights movement that seeks to roll back human rights. We will work together to promote and protect human rights, fight against discrimination and hatred, and ensure that everyone is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.