Parliament has considered and passed the Anti -Homosexuality Bill 2023 with a maximum sentence of death for persons convicted of aggravated homosexuality.
The Bill described aggravated homosexuality as an act committed on a child when the offender is a parent, guardian, or relative of a person on who the act has been committed, the person on whom the offense has been committed suffers mental health illness, contracts a terminal illness, or the person who has committed the offense is a serial offender.
The Private Member’s Bill was introduced by Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament, Hon. Asuman Basalirwa 09 March 2023.
Before passing the Bill, Budama North East MP Fox Odoi presented a minority report against passing the legislation.
He explained that It contains provisions that are unconstitutional, reverses the gains registered in the fight against gender-based violence, and criminalizes individuals instead of conduct that contravenes legal provisions.
He cited the Annual Crime Police Reports, incidents of homosexuality which indicate that cases have been reducing in Uganda, peaking in 2017 where 12O cases were reported, ln 2018, 100 cases were reported, in 2019, 103 were reported, 79 cases reported in 2O2O, 80 cases reported in 2021 and 83 in 2022. “This means that the Legislative interventions that are existing in the laws of Uganda are having an effect,” Odoi noted.
The house also approved that the person who commits attempted aggravated homosexuality will be liable to 14 years imprisonment upon conviction.
Parliament has also passed 20 years imprisonment on a person who commits the offense of homosexuality and 10 years for a person who has been convicted of attempted homosexuality.
The Chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Hon. Robina Rwakoojo said that whereas homosexuality already exists in Uganda’s law books under the Penal Code, there is a need to redefine the law and place emphasis on emerging matters that are not contained in the Penal Code Act.
The Bill seeks to penalize an owner, occupier, or manager of premises who knowingly allows the premises to be used for acts of homosexuality with a 10-year prison sentence upon conviction.
Media houses that publish materials that promote homosexuality will be fined 1 billion shillings (50,000 currency points) and have the license of that particular house revoked for a period of 10 years.
The clause that had proposed the extradition of persons charged with homosexuality was deleted. House rejected the proposal by the Tororo Woman MP Sarah Opendi to castrate people who are found guilty of homosexuality
“Where somebody has got your child into homosexuality even life imprisonment is not adequate. The amendment I am proposing is that such a person should be castrated madam speaker” Opendi proposed.
The Bill has been passed and will become law once the President assents to it.
389 MPs attended in person while others followed proceedings via Zoom as the House adopted the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023.
“This House will not shy to restrict any right to the extent of the House that recognizes, protects, and safeguards the sovereignty, morals, and culture of this country,” speaker Among noted after Parliament unanimously adopted the Bill.