Anti-gay bill could see Uganda landlords jailed

A bill has been tabled in Uganda’s parliament that would criminalise anyone identifying as LGBTQ+. If passed, they would face jail terms of up to 10 years, as would those engaging in same-sex relations.

The law would ban the funding or promotion of LGBTQ+ activities and jail landlords who rented premises to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The bill will be scrutinised by a parliamentary committee before it is tabled before the house again for debate.

There has been rising anti-gay sentiment in Uganda and neighbouring countries in recent weeks.

Activists are concerned that this could lead to mob attacks on anyone suspected to be gay.

In 2014, the country’s constitutional court nullified the anti-homosexuality act, which had toughened laws against the LGBTQ+ community.

It included making it illegal to promote and fund LGBTQ+ groups and activities, as well as reiterating that same-sex relations should be punished by life imprisonment.

The court ruled that the legislation be revoked on the basis that it had been passed by parliament without the required quorum.

The punishment of life imprisonment for same-sex relations already exists in the country’s penal code. It is not clear if the proposed new legislation of 10 years would override this.

Same-sex relations are banned in about 30 African countries.

The campaign group, Human Rights Watch, said it believed that if the proposed law is passed, Uganda would be the only African country to criminalise those who simply identify as LGBTQ+.

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