Uganda to criminalise identification as LGBTQ; introduces strict punishments for violations
Even as the world takes strides towards inclusivity, Uganda on Tuesday passed a law criminalising identification as LGBTQ. The new law, as per Reuters, gives authorities broad new powers against Ugandans who already face legal discrimination and mob violence. As per the rights group Human Rights Watch, the law appears to be the first to outlaw the mere identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
Homosexuality is already illegal in the country. In more than 30 African nations, including Uganda, same-sex relations are banned.
The new Ugandan law, in addition to the previous ban, forbids the promotion and abetment of homosexuality. Additionally, it prohibits "conspiracy to engage in homosexuality", reports Reuters.
Supporters of the latest legislation say that it is needed to punish a broader array of LGBTQ activities. These activities as per them are a threat to the conservative and religious East African nation's traditional values.
The legislation will now be sent to President Yoweri Museveni to be signed into law. Museveni, as per Reuters, has long been an opponent of LGBTQ rights.